Mon Nov 21 08:47am EST
He enters the game against the New York Islanders under a crush of speculation: Will he look like the same player? Will his impact be immediate, or does he need a few games to find a rhythm? Will he battle in the corners; and if so, who's the opponent that gives Sidney Crosby a solid check for the first time since January?
Face it: The sports world is waiting to see Crosby take a hit in his first game back. The first time someone connects with Sid, it's going on every highlight package from local news in Pittsburgh to SportsCenter. It's a part of the gig and it's a part of the game … but it's going to take some stones to be the first guy to do it.
Who will be the first New York Islanders player to Hit The Kid? You tell us.
We're giving away a DVD copy of "HBO 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road To The NHL Winter Classic" (courtesy of HBO Home Entertainment) to the reader who correctly predicts to the first Islanders player to body-check Sidney Crosby on Monday night. (And yes, we understand the perverse irony in giving away video of the Steckel hit to the winner of this contest.)
Here's how it works: You pick one Islanders player from their roster (official team roster here) that you think will hit Sid first on Monday night; type his name into an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Hit The Kid. (One entry per reader, please.) Once the first hit on Crosby has been identified by official scoring, CBC and/or VERSUS, we'll throw all the reader names that picked that player into a hat, select one and you win the DVD. It's as simple as that!
Question: Instead of a player, can you pick "he never gets hit by an Islander?" Answer: Yes, especially since Dan Bylsma talked about limiting his ice time and how elusive Sidney is to hit. Consider that 'betting the field.'
Deadline for entries: 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST on Monday. Winner will be announced on "Marek Vs. Wyshynski" on Tuesday and on the Puck Daddy Facebook page. Again: Email them to email@example.com with the subject Hit The Kid. Best of luck to you; more importantly, best of health to Sid. Hopefully the first hit's a clean one, as are the subsequent hits. Good to have you back, sir.