As the dawn of the 2011-12 NHL season approaches, no storyline has garnered more attention than the health of former Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby
. While concern from Pittsburgh fans certainly is understandable, if the folks at EA SPORTS have anything to say about it, the Steel City has little reason to worry.
EA released its full simulation of the 2011-12 season Wednesday, and not only does Crosby return to the ice to put up impressive numbers, he winds up lifting a pretty big piece of silver over his head this June -- and a Conn Smythe Trophy to go with it, as the Penguins are projected to win their fourth Stanley Cup, in a six-game Final against the Chicago Blackhawks
The simulation was performed using the EA SPORTS' NHL 12 simulation engine.
In reality, Crosby's return to the ice remains uncertain, as concussion issues have sidelined him since Jan. 5. That fact wasn't lost on EA, as according to the full results of their simulation, Crosby only will play 65 games this season, a total that has him returning to the ice in early December, possibly for the Pens' matchup with the defending-champion Bruins on Dec. 5. However, once Crosby returns, he gets back in a big way. In those 65 games, Crosby racks up an astonishing 30 goals and 62 assists, a total that ends up leading Pittsburgh in points and putting him seventh in the League scoring race.