Is/Was The Kid Really Back?

Sidney Crosby Penguins
Sidney Crosby is perhaps the biggest star affected by post-lockout concussions (Icon SMI)

Their 15 game win streak was snapped by…the Buffalo Sabres? The first full game missed by Sidney Crosby since breaking his jaw, and the Pens can’t get the W. Coincidence?

Crosby’s still leading the NHL in points with 56, and though he’s out indefinitely, he could have captured the Hart AND the Art Ross. Both awards he’s only one once before (surprisingly) during his sophomore season in 2007, when he had 120 points and only missed a couple games. That year he averaged an amazing 1.51 points per game. This year, at a healthy pace and full season, he could have averaged 127 points at his 1.55 per game rate. YEAH, I’d say he’s back.

Or, he was back. Thanks to Brooks Orpik’s slapshot.

What’s incredible is that even his 1.51 or 1.55 points per game seasons are not his best. Before his concussion during the 2010-2011 season, he was an unstoppable force, at a 1.6 rate on route for 132 points. When he returned last year (remember that great start against the Islanders?) he also would have amassed over 100 points if he’d played the whole season.

The time off during lockout was probably a blessing in disguise for Crosby. When he does return, imagine how scary it’ll be, now being able to set up Morrow, Kunitz, Malkin, Iginla, Neal…

He already had 41 assists. Expect those numbers to skyrocket.