The Penguins were arguably the NHL's best team without Sidney Crosby. After his successful return, a case can be made to remove the "arguably" and not just because of Crosby's individual talents.
In the hours following Sidney Crosby's stellar season debut on Monday, so much of the media scurried to remove the "arguably" from "the Penguins are arguably the best team in the league."
But lost amid the oohs and aahs of Crosby's offensive fireworks was not the skill that generated two goals and two assists, but the more important albeit intangible benefit. At least until Crosby's linemate, Penguins winger Chris Kunitz, pointed it out.
"It was great to have Sid back, our captain and our leader," Kunitz said. "He adds so much to our team."
Oh, yeah. How soon we forget. The Penguins didn't just lose their star and the league's poster boy for 10 months and 61 regular-season games. They lost their captain.
For 10 months, Pittsburgh went without a C on one of its crests. And the alternate...