The promise that the Pittsburgh Penguins coaching staff gave over the last couple weeks was if Sidney Crosby was going to return, they would let everyone know the day before. Well, you can't say that the Penguins don't hold their promises, as they have announced on Sunday afternoon that they will have their captain back in the line-up for their next game, at home to the Islanders.
Crosby has been out of the Penguins line-up for nearly a calendar year, as his concussion post that initially saw him out of the line-up for the long-term, was posted on January 7th. After much care and close attention, the Penguins are now 100% certain that he is ready to go and in saying that, they should be confident that he should have no after effects, which would make it easier for him to suffer a second concussion with contact.
For argument's sake, Phil Kessel is leading the NHL in scoring (and in hockey pool scoring) with 28 points in 20 games for the Maple Leafs and he is on pace for 115 points, if he plays an entire 82-game schedule. If Crosby is to still win the scoring race, Crosby would have to score at a pace of 1.85 points per game, which is a little too lofty of a goal, especially since Crosby was scoring at a 1.61 points per game pace when he was injured last year. If he returns to that pace, he'll pick up 100 points (or so).
How big is this news? Well, Kristy and Don picked Crosby with the 14th overall pick in the 1st round of the hockey pool draft. Going into Sunday night's action, the day before Crosby returns, they sit in 8th place in the standings, 31 points out of 1st place and I think it is more than fair to compare them to the top spot right now. If Crosby is as good as Crosby is... this could be a quick turnaround.