One of the best ways to realize exactly what Sidney Crosby has accomplished this year is to look at the NHL scoring leaders:
Sidney Crosby, despite playing 11 fewer games than Steven Stamkos, is only two points behind him in scoring. He's still second in goals, seven behind Stamkos and five ahead of Daniel Sedin.
Is it just us, or does this situation remind anyone else of Mario Lemieux in 1993?
Obviously the situation isn't as dramatic. As serious as a concussion is, it's not cancer. What Mario Lemieux did that year will never be duplicated, but the storylines are similar. Crosby was having the finest season of his career before he was forced to miss significant time due to an injury. Will he burst back onto the scene like Lemieux did in '93? We can't see him having too many five goal nights and he's not going to score 160 points in 60 games, but we can see him returning with a vengeance.
Check out Mario's stats from that season. After returning from cancer, Mario had four points against the Kings, six against Washington, five against San Jose, four against New Jersey and five against the Rangers. In the 20 regular season games after his return, he was only held off the score sheet twice. 15 of those 18 games were multi-point games.
Now look at Crosby's stats from this year. In 41 games, he has only been held off the score sheet six times. He has had 20 multi-point games this year. Sure, he hasn't had any five or six point nights, but not many players do anymore. Plus, there's still time this year for that.
Can Crosby return from this concussion with the same ferocity that Mario returned with? Again, we're not comparing cancer to a concussion, but if anyone can raise his game to a higher level out of spite and determination like Mario once did, it's Sidney Crosby.