Ever since he came into the NHL, Sidney Crosby has been looked at as the next Wayne Gretzky. They’ve even nicknamed him “The Next One” and his game has proven his dominance so far in his career. In his rookie season, he finished with 102 points: 63 of those coming from assists. Crosby led the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 only to be beat by the Detroit Red Wings. They would return to the finals the following year against Detroit again, but this time they would be victorious in seven games. Crosby had led his team to the top of the NHL.
Injuries have been something that have plagued him lately, though, mainly a concussion that kept him out part of the 2010-11 season and then the first 20 games of the 2011-12 campaign. Prior to Friday night’s game two against the New York Islanders, Crosby had missed 13 games with a broken jaw. When the Penguins announced he would return to the line-up, it was breaking news across all social media platforms.
Crosby’s return could be labeled bittersweet for the Penguins. The top-seeded Penguins dismantled the Islanders 5-0 in game one of the series. Game two would prove why the Penguins missed their captain, though. Just a little over seven minutes into the game, Crosby had already found the back of the net twice for Pittsburgh. Add to that a goal Evgeni Malkin scored less than a minute into the game and Pittsburgh held a 3-1 lead. Pittsburgh seemed destined to win another blow out game.
That would be all the scoring the Penguins would get though. Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov would settle down and the Islanders offense would come to life. Colin McDonald, Matt Martin and Kyle Okposo would all find the back of the net for New York and that’s how the game would end, New York 4 and Pittsburgh 3. With the series tied at one game a piece now, Pittsburgh will need to regroup and refocus. Now that the captain is back, they shouldn’t have any trouble doing just that.