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Sidney Crosby goes Wild in return to lineup

January 15, 2020, 8:46 AM ET [402 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Finally. Sidney Crosby made his return to the lineup last night in spectacular fashion. I’m beginning to think even though the Penguins went 18-6-4 without him that the team may still benefit from him being in the lineup. Although I can’t lie part of me wanted to see the Penguins lose two or three in a row after his return so we could see some real special takes on how he actually disrupted chemistry or some other nonsense.

Here is some of Crosby’s work last night which included a goal and three assists.

The bank was nice, but the pass was better. Put them together and you have a play very few make in this league with such ease.

Crosby was on a line with Dominik Simon and Jared McCann with Mike Sullivan leaving both the Kahun-Malkin-Rust and Aston Reese-Blueger-Tanev trios alone. I think it is the right call for the moment. Those two lines are playing great and Crosby can survive with McCann who has finishing ability and Simon who has passing ability. I do think we get a trade for a winger eventually to improve things further.

Malkin finished the game with two goals and an assist. His assist was really nice

Malkin admitted he didn’t know for sure if Rust was there, but he had a good feeling. I have always been good with Malkin trusting his instincts because the reward when he’s right is something like you see above. When he’s wrong you can get plays that are really bad. The good drastically outweighs the bad for Malkin. Underrated part of the drop pass is that he knows Rust is right handed and leaves the puck further to the far side which is on his forehand. I always made a point to know my teammates’ handedness so I could get the puck on their forehands even in situations I didn’t have the luxury of looking. Those are small details that can make a huge difference. Even Sidney Crosby doesn’t want the puck on his backhand if he can have it on his forehand.

You know it is a goal scoring fest when Dominik Simon AND Alex Galchenyuk each score. You know how Alexander Ovechking will go on streaks where he has like seven goals in only three games? Well Domink Simon has three goals in his last ten so that is his version of scoring in bunches.

Bill Guerin was back in town for the first time since taking the Minnesota job and all I have to say is Godspeed to Guerin who has to manage that roster/franchise. No easy fixes to be had there.

The NHL is back to fearing the Penguins again.

The really frustrating part is they never should have stopped. The easy to figure out pieces were wrong for two years. The Penguins are fortunate to have the core of players they do because even when they waste a couple of years they have still had the luxury to bounce back because foxing non-core issues is way easier. Other teams don’t have the same benefit. When I say other I mean almost all teams don’t have the same benefit.

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins will have a tough opponent tomorrow night. They visit the Boston Bruins in what could very well be the Eastern Conference Finals.

Thanks for reading!
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