|Welcome back, Sid! (© Pittsburgh Penguins)|
Attention: If you do not care about hockey, you better skip this post ;)
This has to be a really quick one since I need to work (the shark ... you know), but last night was so huge that I have to put this post up here to create myself a place where I can come back to and remember this.
You all know already that I am a hockey geek and last night was one of the best nights EVER. Sidney Crosby, the captain of my Pittsburgh Penguins and the undoubtedly best hockey player of his generation, returned to the ice after 320 days he was out recovering from a concussion.
Before we come to the game last night, let me say that I was never one of the fans who were pushing for Sid's return. Yes, of course he was badly missed, but
- a concussion is a very dangerous injury and the time it takes to heal is different from person to person. If you do not let it heal (and lots of sports professionals don't), it can cause very awful long term health problems as incredibly bad headaches, problems with the vision, memory loss and more. It can end a career and shorten a life. So for Sid's sake I never wanted him to come back before he was not 100% okay.
- this is a fantastic TEAM. There was a lot of great hockey happening without him and that made me and many other fans proud and happy. I guess in the end the Pens grew a lot in these 320 days. They now know better than ever that they are one of the best teams in the league even without their superstar.
Nevertheless ... from that moment on Sunday it was confirmed that Sid would be back Monday night against the New York Islanders the excitement was HUGE! My twitter practically exploded and the whole hockey community got really emotional. And yes - you can find it silly or not - we (me, too) used quite some tissues these days.
I for myself took an early evening nap on Monday to be able to watch the game without being totally broken at work the next day. Not watching this game was never an option.
And it was so worth it. This has been the most beautiful hockey game I have seen in a long time. It is amazing what a difference this guy makes. Sid is not only a top scorer that makes defensemen around the world thinking about a getting a new job off the ice, he changes the whole game, he puts his boys in the right place to shine and his spirit, just the way he is, is truly amazing - he is the captain, our captain.
Sid scored for the first time about 5 minutes into the game. It took him only 5 minutes. The Consol Energy Center, the city of Pittsburgh, a giant number of sports bars and countless living rooms around the world turned into a screaming mess - including mine. And this was just the beginning.
The Pittsburgh Penguins won 5:0. Sid scored twice, assisted two more times and was elected as the No 1 star of the game.
If you want to understand better why this incredible comeback was such a heroic act, please read this article of my favorite hockey writer, Sean Conboy:
Sidney Crosby is the Biggest Man in the Room
And for your watching pleasure again and again and again .... all goals from last night: