-- He has 11 points in five games after spending 10 and a half months on the shelf recovering from a concussion, and yet nobody around the Pittsburgh Penguins
is surprised with how quickly Sidney Crosby
has raced back onto the scene and into the NHL scoring race.
"Not really. Not really at all," linemate Pascal Dupuis
told NHL.com. "He was with us in practice and we could see his speed and everything was still there. He was the best guy in practice for the last couple of weeks before he got back. We kind of had that feeling that he was going to come back on top of his game. But to come back like this and look the same as he did before is probably what surprises other people."
"He's played some awesome hockey," added Penguins coach Dan Bylsma
. "The way he's prepared for months coming into playing these games has been at a high level, so you expected to see him at that high level speed-wise and skill-wise."
If Crosby stays at his current pace of 2.2 points per game and doesn't miss another game, he would finish with 136 points this season. That would give him the most points for any NHL player since 1995-96, when Mario Lemieux
put up 161 points and Jaromir Jagr
Even if you think it's unrealistic for him to continue at such a torrid pace, Crosby has at least landed himself in the discussion for this season's Art Ross
Trophy. He has 57 games to make up the 21 points that current leader Phil Kessel
has on him right now.