Crosby not only player returning for Penguins
It wasn't exactly the comeback that had the hockey world buzzing, but a significant person not named Sidney Crosby also returned to the lineup.
Defenseman Zbynek Michalek, at least one week ahead of schedule, returned to the Penguins' blue line after missing four weeks with a broken finger.
"I guess all these people aren't here for me," a smiling Michalek said when observing the dozens of media members standing around Crosby's locker.
Not surprisingly, Michalek returned to his familiar position alongside defenseman Paul Martin, who has struggled in his absence.
Michalek broke his finger while blocking a shot against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 22 against New Jersey. Although the original prognosis was for Michalek to miss 4-6 weeks, he was not surprised by his early return to the lineup.
"I have had broken bones before," Michalek said. "It's always taken about four weeks to get back."
Michalek wasn't worried about any rust, as he has been skating with the team for two weeks.
"I feel good," Michalek said. "Obviously, I'm ready to go. It's nice to be back in the lineup."
> > The "Sid" signs that every fan was given before Monday's game came courtesy of Mario Lemieux. The Penguins owner, who saw thousands of "Mario" signs when he returned from a career-threatening back injury in 1991, decided Sunday night to have signs created for Crosby.
> > G Marc-Andre Fleury's cereal, "Fleury Flakes," is making a return to Pittsburgh-area Giant Eagles beginning Tuesday.
> > C Joe Vitale, LW Steve MacIntyre and D Alexandre Picard were healthy scratches.
No. 87 is No. 1
Sidney Crosby's return by the numbers:
2 — Goals
2 — Assists
8 — Shots on goal
2 — Times he was checked solidly
15 — Minutes of Crosby highlights shown at a Mt. Lebanon middle school to begin children's class day
14:01 — Ice time
34-19-8 — Penguins' record without Crosby past two seasons
300 — Dollars being sought by scalpers for a ticket
250 — Media credentials issued
320 — Days between games
Sidney Crosby Returns November 21, 2011
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scores twice in his return against the New York Islanders, Monday, November 21, 2011 at Consol Energy Center.
Penguins' official site: Postgame reaction