Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby is back on the ice … and he’s hot.
Crosby spent more than 10 months recovering from a concussion. Since returning to the Penguins’ lineup on Nov. 21, he’s notched 11 points in six games.
This week Bill talks about the return of “Sid the Kid” with TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie. In a column last week, McKenzie wrote that Crosby’s comeback could be “something that doesn’t happen very often in the NHL any more, a chance, or maybe the hope, for something magical to occur.”
McKenzie points out the similiarities between Crosby’s return and two comebacks by another Penguins great, Mario Lemieux. Lemieux was diagnosed with cancer in January 1993. He missed two months of the season while undergoing radiation.
“When he left the NHL, he was well in the lead for the scoring race,” McKenzie said. “When he came back he was 12 points behind Pat LaFontaine and he scored an almost an average of 3 points a game in the final 20-odd games of the season to finish 12 points ahead of LaFontaine.”
Lemieux also dominated in 2000 after a three-year retirement. McKenzie argues Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky are the only NHL players who became bigger than the game by compiling stunning statistics year after year.
“It’s a hard league, the NHL, and it’s really hard to sustain high-end excellence,” McKenzie said. “But if anybody’s going to do it, I would put my money on Crosby.”