NEW YORK -- Sidney Crosby
hasn't played the point on the power play since he was with Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. That will change Thursday night against the New York Rangers
, provided the Pittsburgh Penguins
get a power-play opportunity at Madison Square Garden.
Crosby has been working on the strong-side point of the Penguins first power-play unit for the past few practices. He is playing opposite Kris Letang
with Evgeni Malkin
on the strong-side wall, James Neal
down low, and Steve Sullivan
on the weak-side wall.
GM Shero excited for Crosby's return
By Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor
While Sidney Crosby
was delivering his long-awaited news to the media in Pittsburgh, Pens General Manager Ray Shero
was ensconced in a board room at the Boca Raton Beach Club for the NHL's GM meetings. READ MORE ›
"I played point in juniors so the comfort level is there," Crosby said. "As far as seeing the things you want to see and getting little habits that you get used to (when you're) playing a certain spot, that's going to take time. But, I have a comfort level there."
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma
said his reasoning for moving Crosby to the point is so he is more involved in the power play. Crosby had been used as the low man on the power play in the limited time he has played during the past 14 months.
"The power play goes through the half wall for the most part and the strong-side point guy. That's Sid Crosby and Evgeni Malkin
for our team right now," Bylsma said. "At times we've seen Geno as the off-side point man. He didn't really touch the puck and wasn't a real focus on the power play. With Sidney Crosby
down low, he's very good in that spot, but the power play doesn't go through that spot. It ends up there with a shot. James Neal
is there right now and his power-play goals (14) speak for themselves in that situation.
"This allows the puck to go through Evgeni Malkin
and Sidney Crosby
The Penguins power play is ranked No. 5 in the League at 19.7 percent.
"I feel like I can make plays there (the point)," Crosby said, "and with the guys we have out there we should be dangerous."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl