Sidney Crosby is often chirped by hockey fans for how little information he reveals in interviews. Crosby, though unfailingly polite, is not usually a very interesting interview subject. He has heard all the questions and has been answering reporters questions at this point for a long time. He understands the "dance" and how to give the answers they are looking for without too much extra information.
In the last eleven months while dealing with a frustrating and scary recovery from head trauma, it's been mostly the same.
"How ya feelin, Sid?"
"When ya comin back, Sid?"
"Still don't have a timetable, but hopefully everything goes well and I can be back out there sooner than later".
"Are you going to have to retire?"
Rinse and repeat and you have practically every interview for the better part of a year.
So that's what makes this Dejan Kovacevic article about Crosby so great. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor. Look at some of these quotes from the usual quote-machine-rigid Sid:
"I've thought a lot about that first game, tried to imagine what it will be like, and whenever I picture it in my mind, it's not just one situation. It's probably 10 or 15 that I've visualized."
"It starts with being in the room with the guys before the game. There's always a different feeling you have before it starts. You're lacing up your skates, you're looking around at your teammates, you're chattering a little. It's something you feel regularly when you're healthy, but when you haven't been out there a long time ... yeah, you can really look forward to it."
"It's going to take a little bit to get my timing, but my approach is going to be the same. I'm going to be the player I've always been. That's my goal. That's why it's important that I'm 100 percent when I do come back. I'm going to get hit again. I know that. That's part of how I play."
I asked Crosby what, beyond that pregame locker room scene, he has visualized for his return game.
"Just about everything," he said, smiling again. "Going to the bench with the guys. Hearing all the chatter. Having your hometown crowd behind you. Maybe, if it's a close game, feeling that intensity again. All of that. Every bit of it. It's going to be a lot of fun."
It's hard not to get excited when Crosby himself is finally outwardly talking about his impending return.
It won't be this week in California, but it should be around the corner. Many are pointing to 11/11 vs Dallas as Crosby's return date- but a check at the schedule shows that might not be the date.
After next Friday's home date with the Stars, the Pens hop a plane to go to Carolina for a Saturday game against the Hurricanes. Crosby will likely need to be evaluated after his first game, just to make sure all is well. Would Sid stay behind and let the team play without him? Or would he play in a back-to-back situation right off the bat? I suppose it's possible, but it seems unlikely.
So perhaps the better date would be 11/15 vs the Colorado Avalanche. The game is in Pittsburgh, there's a day off the next day before a Florida trip. It seems to be a perfect spot to return. And hey, at this point, what's a few more days.