Offensive impact of Crosby's return

What will Sidney Crosby's return mean for teammates like Pascal Dupuis? Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Sidney Crosby is once again returning to the lineup, scheduled to take the ice Thursday against the Rangers.

The 24-year-old former MVP was remarkable in his return from a 10-month layoff in November, scoring twice in his season debut against the New York Islanders and amassing 12 points in eight games before concussion-like symptoms sidelined him again.

His team also has been remarkable in his absence. The Penguins have won nine in a row and have a record of 42-21-5, four points ahead of the fifth-place Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference.

Crosby is widely acknowledged as the NHL's premier player, and his return provides coach Dan Bylsma with some options -- but some tough decisions to make as well.