The Kid has come back in a way only befitting of the best player in the world. Two goals. Two assists. An entire city on its feet.
This game was special for more reasons than the return on Sid. This team is finally one again. The Pens played just 2 games last season with Crosby, Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin on the ice together. No doubt overshadowed by Sid’s return was also the return of defenseman Zybnek Michalek. Though the Pens are still without Ben Lovejoy, the core of the team is now reunited. From what we saw last night, the rest of the NHL should be terrified.
Sid’s Welcome Back Video
Rick DiPietro, the league’s human band-aid, sat last night for the Isles, leaving AHL call up Anders Nilsson to be fed to the wolves in his first NHL start. Poor kid. Dips was pulled in the Isles game against the Bruins on Saturday. (They were shutout 6-0.)
Crosby came back without missing a beat. He won the opening face off and then continued to dazzle. Deryk Engelland moved the puck up the boards as Pascal Dupuis was coming off the bench. Duper fed the puck to Sid, who was flying down center ice. He scores 5:24 into the first period with a gorgeous backhanded shot.. The roof almost blew off of CONSOL. The fans are FINALLY alive!
Brooks Orpik decided last night was his night to shine too. Sid passed the puck to Orpik from the boards. Orp one timed it from the center of the point and sent the puck screaming passed Nilsson. That is Orp’s 2nd goal of the season, 11th of his career.
In the second period, Malkin, Sid and Letang created magic together with a power play goal. Sid passed the puck to Letang who oifne timed it to the net from the top of the slot. Malkin attempted to re-direct and then buried it on the rebound. Pens up 3-0.
The Twitter Line (Sully, Malkin, Neal) showed off shortly after the Malkin goal. Neal tucked the puck behind him to Malkin coming into the attack zone at the circle. Geno sailed the puck to Sullivan who deflected the puck in.
Crosby wasn’t satisfied with his performance in the third period. I mean, a goal and two assists just weren’t enough. Abysmal return. How on earth does one rectify such a disappointing return to hockey after 100 games away from the ice? Meh, I guess a second goal will do. After some snake like maneuvers along the boards, he threw another backhanded shot at the net and connected. Duper and Michalek racked up the assists on the play.
Marc-Andre Fleury was playing in a different galaxy. He stopped 29 shots with some absolutely beautiful quick glove work. This was Flower’s 21st career shutout, leaving the Isles goalless for two straight games.
- Fleury is unbelievable. This game showed why he is one of the best goalies in the league. He made saves that Julie “The Cat” Gaffney would have been proud of. (She has the quick glove.)
- Michalek played a great game. He had an assist and 3 shots on goal. Welcome back Czech Sensation!
- The Twitter Line needs to stay together. Everyone wanted Neal on Sid’s wing, but Kunitz and Dupuis are who he is comfortable with and last night was a display of the power that line has. I’m sure at times the lines may be mixed up, but why fix it if it ain’t broke?
- The Cooke-Staal-Kennedy line was reunited again and it looks like they will continue to play together.
- This team is scary. Someone asked Jay Caufield in the after show if the return of Sid made the Pens the team to beat in the east. They already were. Where have you been this season? This team is pushing through adversity and injuries with a bulldozer.
- Sid had 4 points in his first game back. $10 says he passes Ovechkin in goals by December.
- The Pens killed 6 penalties.
- We did see Sid and Neal on the ice together for the power play.
- Even with Sid in the line-up, jagoffs are still leaving early. Thank you to @Shelbro78 for this
She had this to say: @highheelshockey #jagoffsleavingearly also another set of #jagoffs left w/ over 14 min left in third #ultimatejagoff. he acted like 1 too complaining about having to walk so far to his seats by the glass some of us would kill for those seats.
Keep this p-hole out of Consol. Nice sideways hat, Spanky.
Crosby Watch has ended. This season just got a million times for fun to watch. Lovejoy Watch, folks?
Let’s Go Pens.