Commentary

Sidney Crosby's impact on Penguins

Star winger will be a welcomed addition on both ends of the ice

Updated: November 21, 2011, 1:50 PM ET
By Neil Greenberg | ESPN Insider
Sidney CrosbyJustin K. Aller/Getty ImagesSidney Crosby will bring some offensive firepower to the Penguins in his return.

After 10 months of rehabilitation since being sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will make his season debut on Monday against the New York Islanders.

Crosby was injured after collisions with Washington Capitals forward David Steckel during the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman a few days later.

"He has been progressing and getting closer," Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma said. "That's been happening over the course of the last week and a half or so. But really, until he went and saw Dr. [Michael] Collins in conjunction with Dr. [Charles] Burke -- they saw him today [Sunday] and talked to him and cleared him, and that's when the decision was made that [Monday] would be the day."

Neil GreenbergCrosby's even-strength offensive zone percentage

Crosby was in the midst of an MVP-caliber season until his injury, tallying 32 goals and 66 points in 41 games, but history has shown that individual production of post-concussion syndrome sufferers takes a big hit, so it is unlikely Crosby will return to the offensive level he was at when he left the game last season. That begs the question: What impact could Crosby have on the ice this season?

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.