Pittsburgh-Monday morning was a typical gloomy morning in mid-March. The gray clouds hovered over the greater Pittsburgh area. Right before the noon hour the sun began to peak through the clouds and the sky began to open up. Streaks of sunlight started to warm up the city.
At the very same time that the sun appeared, the playoff hopes of the Pittsburgh Penguins began appearing to look a little brighter. The fans of the Pens became encouraged by the fact that the team’s savior stepped foot onto a sheet of frozen ice for the first time in months.
Sidney Crosby took the ice for a short fifteen minute skate this morning at the CONSOL Energy Center. This is the first time Sid the Kid has touched the ice surface since suffering a concussion in early January. He skated in full pads weaving around cones, and shooting pucks into an empty net.
When Crosby endured his concussion cannot be pinpointed. His concussion was either established by a blind-side hit handed out by former Washington Capitals forward, David Steckel. Or, if this hit on January 1st was not the key contributor to Crosby’s head injury, then a hit from behind by Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, days following the Winter Classic, could have also been the result of Crosby’s concussion.
Crosby has not skated since January 5th, the game in which Hedman smashed Crosby’s face off of the glass behind the Tampa Bay net. The vicious hit delivered by Hedman was only 5 days following the Steckel incident.
Due to rumors swirling throughout Canada and the hockey world, many have speculated that Crosby’s career is in jeopardy due to lingering concussion symptoms.
The news of Crosby’s return to the ice created a buzz felt around the city of Pittsburgh all day. This is the most positive news of any sort of comeback since Mario Lemieux came out of retirement, and made his return to the Penguins lineup for a 2nd stint in 2000.
Not much has been heard from Crosby since he has been out of the Pens lineup. Today, he did speak to the media for a brief period following his short workout.
“I’ve had some good days here the last few and was able to get on a bike and exercise a bit. I didn’t have any symptoms doing that. I just was given the opportunity to skate. The doctor said I could give it a try and see how I feel. We’ll see moving forward how it goes.”
Crosby stated that he has exercised consistently over the past few days and his concussion-like symptoms have seen an improvement. However, he also stated that he has tended to get symptoms later on in the day.
Today’s skate was a step forward in Crosby’s healing process. With the struggling offensive numbers that the Pens offense has been posting lately, they will take any positive Crosby news they can get hoping for a return as soon as it is safe for Sid to play.
Although today was the first day Crosby has laced up the skates, he has been riding the bike regularly trying to establish some stamina. At the same time, Crosby reiterated that he isn’t even close to being in game shape. He is definitely keeping a conservative outlook regarding his workouts, and his return to the Pens lineup.
“I’m not thinking too far ahead as far as a time frame. I just want to get better. This is a part of the way to do that. I’m just taking that step and we will see how it goes. I’m not even close to where I need to be.”
Crosby has always been known to be a non-stop workaholic. He isn’t used to being restricted in his workouts or practice time.
The future looks much brighter for the Penguins going forward than it did just 24 hours ago. Crosby only fooled around today on the ice, but right now the Penguins and their fan base will accept any optimistic news.
Even if Crosby does not return to the Pens lineup this season, Sid’s skate today almost guaranteed that he, at the very least, will be able to play again in the future.
Although the entire city will want to dwell on Crosby’s fifteen minute skate this morning, everyone needs to be patient with Crosby’s rehabilitation. This is definitely a step in the right direction.
Justin Glock has covered the Pittsburgh Penguins for The Hockey Writers since 2011. As a lead writer, his Penguins knowledge traces back over two decades. For any requests, please feel free to contact Justin via email: JGlock10@gmail.com.