No matter how much praise you shower on Crosby, it will always fall short. He has been the single most creative player the league has seen in some time and he has received numerous accolades and won everything ranging from the Olympic gold to the Stanley Cup.
One positive from the Crosby absence is the resurgence of Evgeni Malkin. He is currently having a career year and is a strong contender for the Hart Trophy this season. Malkin is the league leader in points (84) and is among the top few in both goals scored and assists. This will ensure that Crosby will be able to slot in the team easily without too much fanfare. Besides he need a slow transition into the starting line-up and Malkin’s form will make sure that the Penguins will not be forced to put him into the deep end immediately.
The last time Crosby returned from injury he scored twice and assisted twice in his opening game. His performances dipped slightly and he did not score any goal in the next seven games. Maybe his first game performance was due to his determination to get back on the ice. Then the inevitable happened, he was injured again. This time the Penguins are not going to take any chances are they are making sure that Crosby is fully healed before he takes to the ice. They don’t want a repeat of his last injury and I’m sure that the message to him would be to take it easy out there. Crosby was back in shape in mid February and it is good to know the doctors did not want to risk him and waited a month before allowing him to compete.
Crosby has already accomplished a lot of what most players dream to in their entire careers but he needs to prove to the world that he can stay healthy and fit. His strength now is the main link between Crosby and the legendary status that beckons him. He needs to be in for long haul and I see him breaking numerous on the way if he stays fit.
He keeps me reminding of Robin van Persie of the English soccer club Arsenal who despite being an exceptional player, was more often than not on the injury table. His first injury free season has come at the age of 28 and I hope that is not the case with Crosby.