Crosby return surprises teammates, coaches
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
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
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Crosby’s off-ice life hardly reflects that of a superstar
- Sestito ready to fight for job on Penguins
- Penguins defenseman Oleksy brings nasty streak, toughness
- Penguins’ Johnston: Kessel, Crosby likely to open season together
- Ex-Penguin Kennedy skates with former teammates, hopes to catch on with a team