TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Crosby return surprises teammates, coaches

Penguins/NHL Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Josh Yohe
Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011
 

Hockey teams have been lying about injuries forever.

But when the Penguins were insisting during the season's first six weeks that they weren't sure when captain Sidney Crosby was returning, they meant it.

Consider coach Dan Bylsma's plight:

"My wife gave away tickets for (Monday night's) game two days ago," Bylsma said before the game, "so my family doesn't have tickets for (Monday night's) game."

He wasn't the only one who didn't know.

It quickly has become apparent that none of Crosby's teammates knew when he would return.

Defenseman Kris Letang, like so many other people, opened his laptop late Sunday afternoon and saw the news online.

Crosby's linemates didn't even know. Left wing Chris Kunitz heard the news from his wife. Right wing Pascal Dupuis heard the news from his daughter.

Bylsma was watching his son's hockey game when his cell phone rang Sunday afternoon.

"We found out just when everyone else did," Letang said.

Much like the medical details during Crosby's almost year-long battle with a concussion, not much is known about the ultimate decision to let him return to game action. Crosby left California more than two weeks ago to have a weekend session with at least one member of his medical team, which includes Dr. Charles Burke (the Penguins team doctor and the man who cleared Crosby), clinical neuropsychologist Micky Collins and Ted Carrick, a chiropractor who specializes in dealing with concussions.

On Sunday, Crosby again met with members of his medical team and was cleared by Burke. Bylsma and general manager Ray Shero were aware that Crosby was meeting with his medical team, and the coach was holding out hope the news would be good.

"I was anticipating a call," he said.

Everyone, it seems, is anticipating Crosby won't have any setbacks. For almost a year it was said that Crosby would not play again until he was 100 percent healthy and unsusceptible to acquiring another concussion.

The physical contact he absorbed in practice has Crosby convinced he is officially out of the woods.

"I've taken as much as I possibly can," Crosby said. "Now it's time for the real thing. I'm excited for that."

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

Photo Galleries

Sidney Crosby Returns November 21, 2011

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.

Additional Information:

Video

Penguins' official site: Postgame reaction

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Penguins

  1. Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
  2. Reliving the moment a decade ago that shifted the Penguins' history
  3. Sutter: Staal effect felt on 3rd line with Penguins
  4. New Pens winger Fehr ready for defense-first role
  5. Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
  6. Penguins to appear on national TV 18 times in 2015-16
  7. ‘Warning track’ makes Pittsburgh debut at Southpointe’s Iceoplex
  8. Penguins bring in analytics expert from Carnegie Mellon