Sid Steamrolls the Sinking Isles
It took just 5 minutes and 24 seconds for Sidney Crosby to re-establish his National Hockey League presence.
Considering their play of late, it might take the New York Islanders another five years to re-establish theirs.
Amid much anticipation, hoopla, and frankly, excessive fawning, 'Sid the Kid' notched another career defining game in a career filled with them. He scored on Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson, who was making his first NHL start, at 5:24 of the first period.
Crosby used a beautiful backhanded shot to roof the puck past Nilsson, moments after breezing by Andrew MacDonald, who had been covering him, at least in theory.
It was just the start of a big night for Pittsburgh and Crosby, whose line scored four times in a 5-0 whitewashing of the Islanders. Crosby, who hadn't played since January 5th, 2011, didn't miss a beat, putting up a four point night (2 goals, 2 assists) and a +3.
For bookkeeping purposes, Brooks Orpick, Evgeni Malkin, and Steve Sullivan netted the other Pittsburgh goals.
Kyle Okposo, making a return of his own after being a healthy scratch for the past three games, played 13:16 and didn't register a shot on goal.
David Ullstrom, the young Swede called up from Bridgeport to hopefully infuse the Islanders with some scoring, played 13:30 and fired two shots on net.
The unfortunate fact remains that the Islanders are a completely punch less squad right now. They haven't scored a goal in 141:45, having been outscored 12-0 in that span.
They have lost 12 of their last 14 games.
Taking an even wider view of a miserable picture, the team made some unfortunate history in the loss. For the first time since 1978, the Islanders fell to .500 as a franchise. Their all-time record now stands at 1318-1318-347-77.
Their record this season stands at a dismal 5-10-3 and they are a single point better than the worst team in the league.
They take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night at home, as they'll try to pick themselves up off the mat.
Happy 40th anniversary season, everyone!