With all due respect to tonight’s matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Philadelphia Flyers, all the attention in the NHL will be focused on the other game between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins as Sidney Crosby will be playing in his first game since suffering a concussion way back on January 5.


Without an end of the NBA lockout in sight and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals struggling thus far this season, the timing couldn’t be much more ideal for Crosby’s return. Like it or not, love him or hate him, Sid the Kid is the face of the National Hockey League and to have him back on the ice only does wonders for the league.


With the aforementioned NBA lockout still going on, the NHL needs to strike when the iron’s hot and do whatever they can to popularize their sport in 2011-12. Having Crosby back in the fold certainly doesn’t hurt.


It’s anyone’s guess how #87 will fare tonight is his season debut but I certainly hope it’s a strong one and this, for Crosby’s own sake, will be the beginning of a very successful comeback. I’m grateful not only because Crosby was able to return but that the Los Angeles Kings do not have to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins again this season.