Found November 21, 2011 on Awful Announcing:


Sidney Crosby finally returns to the Pittsburgh Penguins after sitting out almost an entire calendar year due to a concussion suffered January 5th.  Versus has changed their television plans for the occasion and will televise Penguins-Islanders tonight at 7 PM ET.  Here's what the network had to say...

With Sidney Crosby making his return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup for the first time since January 5, VERSUS is switching from the Boston Bruins/Montreal Canadiens game scheduled for Monday night to air the New York Islanders/Penguins game at 7 p.m. from the CONSOL Energy Center. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live after a 30-minute edition of NBC SportsTalk at 6 p.m. ET

The team of Dave Strader (play-by-play announcer) and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside the Glass’ analyst) will call all the action from Pittsburgh.

CBC in Canada is also picking up the Pens-Isles game as well, so all hockey eyes will be on Pittsburgh tonight.  I'm a bit surprised Versus wouldn't call on Doc Emrick for such a big occasion, but you can have some fun during the telecast by Twitter searching "Pierre McGuire" to see how much hockey fans love the inside the glass analyst.  As a Pens fan, I'm beyond excited to see Crosby finally healthy and fit to play.  More importantly though, Crosby's comeback game is great news for the sport.  Such a lengthy layoff due to a concussion was quite scary for the game's most notable superstar.  However, the Penguins didn't rush Crosby back and throughout his absence important conversatons have taken place on treating concussions and preventing players coming back too soon.  If anything, Crosby's 10 month plus absence has forced hockey and other sports to take concussions even more seriously than before.  

Even without Crosby, the NHL has continued its slow rise on the national scene in the last year.  Last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs was a ratings success, especially the exciting Bruins-Canucks Finals series and its Game 7 that was tied for the best television rating since 1995.  Continuing that momentum, the Flyers-Bruins season opener on Versus this year was the highest rated regular season game in the network's history with over 800,000 viewers.  It'll be interesting to see how Crosby's return does in the ratings, but it can be only good news for the NHL.  

Conventional wisdom would tell you the NHL should be the main benefactor of a protracted NBA Lockout along with college hoops.  It may not show in the ratings right now with football dominating the sports landscape.  Numbers are up and down on Versus for nationally televised games through the first month of the NHL season.  However, if February and March roll around without an NBA season (and there's nothing but tumbleweeds on that front currently), then hockey ratings may start to soar.  Also worth factoring into the mix is NBC effectively rebranding Versus as NBC Sports Network and making a huge marketing push during the new year.  As the cornerstone live sports property on the network, the NHL will be a major part of that push.  As the season develops, Crosby's return tonight in Pittsburgh may be just one piece of an even larger NHL resurgence this year.



Return of Sidney Crosby feels surreal

It’s about time. Sidney Crosby skates up ice during Monday's game against the New York Islanders. I didn’t think I’d be saying it, but watching Sidney Crosby skate Monday night felt right. I said “nil,” for a while, in regards to his value to the NHL. It looked as if the league did just fine without him the second half of last season. The Sedin twins were...

Sarah Kwak: The spectacular Crosby Show returns, unbelievably yet inevitably

The expecations were high for Sidney Crosby's return. Unbelievably, and inevitably, he delivered, says Sarah Kwak. Crosby had four points as the Penguins rolled by the Islanders 5-0.

Penguins' Crosby 'anxious' for return against Islanders tonight

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby says he is experiencing butterflies ahead of his highly-anticipated return to the ice Monday night. “It’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the last 10 months, so it’s pretty exciting,” Crosby said, according to “You don’t always...

Crosby has 2 goals, 2 assists; Pens top Isles 5-0

Sidney Crosby capped his comeback with a flourish.

Kovacevic: Crosby 'magnifique' right away

A goal on his first shot was just the tip of an unforgettable four-point masterpiece for Sidney Crosby's comeback in a Penguins victory.

Sidney Crosby wastes no time in reminding everyone he's still the best in the game

(source feed provided no summary content for this entry)

Crosby records 4 points in season debut (AP)

The defining moment of Sidney Crosby's dazzling season debut in the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 rout over the New York Islanders on Monday didn't come on either of his two goals or his two assists. It didn't come on the flash-bulb popping opening faceoff or the electric buzz his presence on the ice created.

John Toperzer: Gameday! The Ferrari returns Monday night

Islanders (5-9-3, 0-4-2 road) at Pens (11-6-3, 6-1-1 home), CONSOL Energy Center, 7:08 pm EDT Follow me on Twitter @JohnToperzer Here’s a shot of Sidney Crosby in the last full day prior to his concussion in what must seem like a million years to him. Nine months later, this picture shows him stepping on the CONSOL Energy Ice for the first practice of training camp...

Crosby gives hockey world a night to remember

Sidney Crosby needed nearly a year to recover from a concussion, but it took mere minutes for him to re-establish himself as the best hockey player in the world.

No hangover from Sidney Crosby's season debut with Penguins

Sidney Crosby woke up on the first day of the rest of his hockey life and felt something he hadn't experienced in a long, long time.

Islanders vs Penguins Pregame Report

The hockey world has descended on Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for tonight’s Islanders – Penguins. The reason, of course, is the return of superstar Sidney Crosby who’s has not played in a game since January 5. Both the CBC and NBC/Versus altered their original programming to broadcast tonight’s game. Islanders’ head coach Jack Capuano announced this afternoon that Nino Niederreiter...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.