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Monday's notes: The Kid Is back

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The NHL spotlight shifts to Pittsburgh tonight, as Sidney Crosby makes his long-awaited return to competition in tonight's game against the New York Islanders. Already among the top teams in the Eastern Conference, do the Penguins become the Stanley Cup favorites once their captain gets back up to 100%?

Follow after the jump for more on Crosby's return, along with a healthy portion of other hockey news this morning...

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Nashville Predators News

Inside Smashville " Smith looks to move away from discussing rookie scoring race
Well, too bad, bub! There's a Calder Trophy to be won, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is playing in Nashville tomorrow.

Hockey Night in Nashville: In all alone: Shooter vs. Goalie
Robby digs the one-on-one battle, whether via a breakaway or during the shootout.

Preds On The Glass: Congratulations to Nashville's Own Hot Chelle Rae for Winning The Best New Artist Award at the AMA Show
I have no idea who these guys are, but my son recognized them on TV last night.

Smashville 24/7: Lindback sharp, focused despite lack of starts
Well, at least he says he is.

Predators Must Not Pay Overtime - The Hockey Writers
Do the Preds have some kind of mental block regarding overtime, which is costing them valuable points in the standings?

Ads Finish 3-in-3 With Win Over Rampage | Admirals Roundtable
Cue the Meatloaf...

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

Hockey Christmas: Sidney Crosby returns Monday vs. the New York Islanders - PensBurgh
For Pittsburgh fans, will this rank up there with Mario Lemieux's return back in the 90's?

The Return of the Kid, Monday on CBC " Puck The Media
Yeah, I'm guessing this is probably the first time Penguins vs. Islanders is the featured game during the regular season on Hockey Night in Canada.

Versus Gets In On The Crosby Act " Puck The Media
Yup, Versus is dumping Boston-Montreal in order to cover Sid's return tonight, too.

Bylsma talks Sidney Crosby’s ice time, getting hit in NHL return - Puck Daddy
Pittsburgh's head coach sets expectations for tonight's game, and doesn't expect a return to 20 minutes of ice time quite yet.

Driving Play: Anomalies: Why Are Crosby's Possession Numbers Merely Good
A timely analysis of what happens when Crosby meets Corsi.

Questions Mount as the Markov Return is Delayed | All Habs
Meanwhile in Montreal, they're still waiting for their big star to play again. 

On hockey: Bruce Boudreau and Alex Ovechkin need to get on the same page - The Washington Post
Is there just a fundamental disconnect between the Washington Capitals' head coach and top star?

Have the Minnesota Wild arrived? No, they’ve returned - Puck Daddy
They're the stingiest defensive team in the league. Have the Wild gone back to their early days?

Welcome Back: Pete DeBoer Returns to Face Panthers on Monday with Devils ... - On Frozen Pond
After being fired over the summer, former Florida head coach Pete DeBoer comes into town leading the New Jersey Devils.

Week 7 - Free Agents and Trade Targets - Fantasy Hockey Scouts
Some players to keep an eye out for include Mike Fisher, who is producing now that he's healthy and playing a prominent role.

Canucks to Recchi: 'Take a nap.' - The Province
The war of words continues between Mark Recchi and the Vancouver Canucks...

Senators At Canucks Recap ; Stretching The Point (2-1W o/t) - Nucks Misconduct
Forget the win, the important thing is what the media were saying (or not saying) about the Canucks, right?

Howard the Duck (Killer): Red Wings 4 - Ducks 2 - Winging It In Motown
Detroit salvaged a .500 road trip by topping Anaheim.

Marleau nets three as the Sharks beat the Avalanche 4-1 - Fear The Fin
Patty had a hatty for San Jose.

Scoreless and Losing Streaks are Over: Hurricanes 3, Maple Leafs 2 - Canes Country
The Hurricanes helped head coach Paul Maurice top his former team.