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THN.com Blog: Welcome back Sid and Foppa

Sidney Crosby had 63 points in 46 games before going down with an injury. (Photo By Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Sidney Crosby had 63 points in 46 games before going down with an injury. (Photo By Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins – as well as the NHL at large – welcome back Sidney Crosby tonight in a game against Tampa Bay.

The league might need Crosby back more than the Pens do, considering Pittsburgh went 11-6-4 in Crosby’s absence. (Did anyone think the Pens would be leading the Eastern Conference after 21 Crosby-less games?)

His return coincides with the stretch drive for the playoffs and the return of another all-world superstar. Peter Forsberg, he of the year-long foot-and-skate-boot problems, prepares for his 2007-08 season debut with Colorado as the Avs host Vancouver.

It should be interesting to see how Crosby responds to the first significant injury of his career, while Forsberg tries to overcome his battered body and reclaim past magic. At this point, Crosby is obviously a much better bet to step in and pickup where he left off.

I’m still intrigued to see what Forsberg has left, though. He was a point-a-game player last season and has always produced when he’s been on the ice…especially in Colorado. With leading goal-scorer Marek Svatos and heart-and-soul Ryan Smyth both on the sidelines, Avs fans are hoping Forsberg has a little more “warrior” left in him. We’ll see…

They’re not going to make the playoffs, but give the Oilers credit for perseverance. Edmonton has won four in a row following the trade deadline, despite injuries to several key players. Team MVP Mathieu Garon has led the way; the goalie is an incredible 10-0 in shootouts and the Oilers are a smoking 14-3 in the post-OT showdown…

So, Steve Bernier scores the game’s first two goals in his debut as a Sabre – and picks up an assist for good measure – while Brian Campbell sets up San Jose’s first goal – on the power play –  in his first game as a Shark, and a few games later, scores a dazzler against Montreal.

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It’s good to see a deal that, in the early going, is working out for both clubs involved (Sabres fans may disagree – with justification – but don’t forget about that first-round pick Buffalo also obtained in the swap)…

Washington’s 10-2 thumping of Boston was a sight to see, except for maybe Bruins goalies Tim Thomas (seven goals against on 24 shots) and Alex Auld (three goals against on 10 shots).

It recalls the old joke about another Bruins goalie, Dave Reece, who had the misfortune of being in net during Darryl Sittler’s 10-point night in 1976 (when the Leafs beat Boston 11-4).

The story goes, Reece was so distraught after the game he tried to commit suicide by stepping out into traffic in front of a bus, but it didn’t work. The bus went between his legs,

I’ll be back at 11...try the veal...

Sam McCaig’s From The Point appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Have a point to make with Sam McCaig? You can reach him at smccaig@thehockeynews.com.

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