PITTSBURGH (AP) - Sidney Crosby woke up on the first day of the rest of his hockey life and felt something he hadn’t experienced in a long, long time.
Tired. In the best way possible.
“Obviously, it’s been a long time since I played,” Crosby said.
Funny, it didn’t look like it.
Crosby returned from a 10-month layoff while recovering from concussion-like symptoms to score two goals and add two assists in a 5-0 romp over the New York Islanders on Monday.
The spectacular performance left Crosby emotionally drained. Erasing nearly a year of doubt and worry will do that.
Yet there appeared to be no hangover. Crosby joined his teammates in a spirited hour-long practice Tuesday morning, with his legs, his lungs and _ most importantly _ his head feeling just fine after his first game in 320 days.
The 24-year-old felt no recurrence of the “fogginess” that kept him sidelined for nearly a year after sustaining head shots in consecutive games last January.
Although he will continue to be monitored, he doesn’t expect to check in with his medical team each day to give them an update.
“Unless there’s really something I need to go to them for I don’t see it being a constant thing,” Crosby said.
Fantastic news for the Penguins. For the rest of the NHL? Not so much.
“That’d be great, but I don’t think that’s possible,” he said. “It’s not even something on my radar.”
He’s more concerned with getting his legs back.
Adrenaline fueled Crosby during most of his nearly 16 minutes on the ice against the overmatched Islanders. It will fade soon enough, perhaps as early as Wednesday when the Penguins host St. Louis.