He returned two nights ago and erased any doubts as to exactly who he is (FYI One of the greatest all time) and how fantastic he is. On his first shot he roasted the Isles rookie tender top shelf. What continued from there was not simply a dismantling as much as a dismemberment of the Islanders. Crosby put on a clinic, singlehandedly dispatching an entire squad (2 goals and 2 assists). He was couped up for so long that unleashing him on the hapless Islanders was a little like letting a wolf run free in a chicken coup for the blind.
At the end he erased all of the images of Malkin or Ovechkin leading the league into a new era: Crosby is the man. No one in the NHL has the ability to seize the moment like he does. I am so glad he is Canadian because if he were from any other country I would fear for my squad for the next couple of Olympics. Crosby has always willingly shouldered the heaviest of burdens for his team and nation – leading both to Championships. From the first moment he stepped onto the ice he has been fast tracked for the Pantheon. What else does he have to accomplish? Hart trophy? Check. Olympic heroics? Check. Stanley Cup? Check.
In returning after his concussion he has brought an intensity and desire previously unmatched. Did you forget me? He seems to be asking and how could we possibly do so? Crosby wants to vanquish his rivals as thoroughly as he has Alex Ovechkin. With Crosby the Pens are near certain to compete for the Cup every single year. He is one of a handful of players in NHL history who can completely swing the fortunes of a team over the top. Hopefully we get the showdown we deserve to see this season and witness a showdown between Chicago and Pittsburgh for the Cup. Neither Crosby or Jonathon Toews will be able to let their team lose. Now that would be something to see: two competitors slugging it out and refusing to go down long after both are bloodied and bruised.
The King is Back. Long live the King.