Sidney Crosby scores a first-period goal over New York Islanders goalie Anders Nilsson last night in Pittsburgh.

There was relief in Cole Harbour as its prodigal son returned to the ice, and pure joy when he scored his first goal.

“I’m just excited to see the best player in the world get back to it,” said Mark Fraser, who proudly wore his Pittsburgh Penguins jersey last night.

Sidney Crosby’s recovery from back-to-back concussions has been a worry for fans here for the past 10 months.

“The talk is will he be able to perform? Will he be able to get back to where he was, and will he ever play again?” said Fraser.

Those questions were answered last night. Crosby had two goals and two assists as the Penguins blanked the New York Islanders 5-0.

“It looks like he’s the best player on the ice right now,” said Fraser, watching the game on one of several screens at Big Leagues bar in Cole Harbour. “So, as long as he doesn’t get hit in the head again, it’s looking pretty good.”

Fraser said he cringed every time Crosby took a hit, no matter how minor it was.

“I think in Cole Harbour it’s very special,” said one fan who only wanted to be referred to as Steve. “He’s in the game, he’s got a goal and we’re all happy for him.”

Before the game started at the sports bar, a panel of experts, including an ER doctor and a university hockey coach, discussed the impact of concussions on the sport.

Tim Krahn, a Dalhousie University researcher, said using Crosby’s example was a great way for experts to get information out to the public and to answer questions.

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