I bet 80 percent of the people who read the headline of this post already think I’m absolutely nuts. Hell I writing it and I think I’m nuts. Before you commit me, hear me out because there are two sides to my craziness a) History b) Stats
Let’s start with the history.This isn’t the first time the hockey world waited in anticipation for the return of a Pittsburgh Penguin.
In 1992-93 Mario Lemieux got off to a torrid pace.
First 20 games= 52 points
Second 20 games= 52 more points
That’s 2.6 points per game!
People started pulling out the old “he’s on pace for” and it usually ended with “possibly breaking Gretzky’s record”. Then came the day where he shocked the hockey world by announcing that he had Hodgkins Lymphoma and would have to leave the game. He did so for just under 2 months and when he came back his scoring lead was gone, and he was 12 points back of Pat Lafontaine with 20 games to go.
Not only did he pick up the pace he was on before he left, he bettered it by averaging 2.8 per game catching and passing Lafontaine for one of the greatest seasons in league history.
60 games, 69 goals 91 goals 160 points (12 point win in the scoring race)
Last year Sidney Crosby got off to a torrid pace of his own. After 41 games he had 66 points for an average of 1.6 points per game. Not Mario numbers, but we are not in a Mario era anymore.
We all know what happened then.
What’s to say that Sidney Crosby can’t pull off a similar comeback?
The Penguins have 62 games remaining. If Crosby picked up his same pace he would finish with99 points. That point total would have finished 2nd in league scoring last year, and top five in the last 4 years. Who is to say he can’t better that pace? Mario did.
While Lemieux missed 24 games, Sid has missed 61 with an offseason in there too. Obviously Lemieux’s off time was much more difficult, as he had 2 months of emotional stress and energy-draining radiation treatments. By no means am I trying to compare cancer with a concussion. What I am comparing is two very special hockey players who are capable of not missing a beat.
I understand that all of these “Ifs” are very big ones and there are a lot of things to take into consideration.
What will his minutes look like early on?
Will he stay healthy?
After missing so much time, will he ever be able to play the way he used to without fear of suffering another concussion?
Will the players presently in the top 5 slow down?
Should Sid even be put in the same blog post as Mario Lemieux yet?
Crosby is one of those special players that could actually pull it off. I’m not saying he will, I’m saying he CAN. If you still don’t believe be, you can have my shoelaces and tie and put me in a straitjacket.
To the links we go
So who will Crosby play with tonight? (Pens Blog)
One more from them, this is a collection of emails they received since Sid went down. Fans writing about stuff they “heard” . Some hilarious stuff in here!
And how much time can we expect Bylsma to give him? (Pro hockey Talk)
Now that Sid is back, how about a David Perron watch? No? Ok, well he has been cleared for contact (The Fourth Period)
Ok, its not ALL about Sid, how about figuring out if firing Bruce Boudreau would make the Caps a better team? (Puck Daddy)
In case you missed the news this weekend, Leafs GM Brian Burke is now on twitter. The guys a Dirty Dangle have some tips for him when using his new account
Devils Coach Peter DeBoer admits that he circled tonight’s game on his calender (Fire and Ice)
Spector’s Hockey talks about why game day interviews with players absolutely suck
Do you remember the last time Scott Gomez scored? Neither does he (Montreal Gazette)
And finally, not so fast Bobby, not so fast!