One year ago today was the day we were all waiting for. Sidney Crosby was coming back.
After being sidelined with a concussion since January, Sid worked hard all summer, going to difference doctors across North America and practicing as soon as he was cleared for contact. After whisperings of how good he looked in practice and how any game could be the game, on November 20th, the Penguins Twitter account sent the hockey world into a tizzy with this tweet
Most sports stations cancelled whatever they were planning on airing and instead decided to air this game. CBC quickly announced they were airing a very special edition Monday edition of “Hockey Night in Canada”, complete with a montage of Sid’s entire career.
Fans in the Consol were given signs that read “Welcome Back Sid”, an idea from owner Mario Lemieux (no doubt inspired by the “Welcome Back Mario” signs at his own comeback game), and they were flashing around the arena like crazy. The fans were loud and exuberant and really, who could blame them? For the first time in ages, we finally had a fully healthy team back on the ice.
You couldn’t have written this any better. On his first shift back, Sidney picked up a pass from Pascal Dupuis, raced up the ice, pushed aside several Islanders defensemen, and scored a backhanded beauty that made fans inside the Consol and everywhere else go crazy. Sid was finally back.
After scoring one more goal and assisting in two more, Sid finished the night with 4 points. The Penguins won 5-0, and Sid was awarded the first star of the game. It was a game almost no one will forget, Sid included.
“It was amazing,” Crosby said. “It was far beyond anything I expected. It was amazing, it was special.”
Of course, 8 games later, Sid would be out until February with more concussion like symptoms and a neck injury, and his second comeback would be with less fanfare, but who cares? It was an amazing game, an amazing moment, and one that I’m pretty sure I’ll be telling my kids all about.