Mike Comrie: Duffman Returns to the Penguins Lineup Tonight

Russ GodekContributor IIIMarch 25, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - NOVEMBER 24:  Mike Comrie #19 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against of the Buffalo Sabres  at HSBC Arena  on November 24, 2010 in Buffalo, New York. Pittsburgh won 1-0.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Mike Comrie is set to return to the lineup tonight after a long absence dating back to November. Early in the season on October 9th, Comrie injured his hip in the Penguins' second regular season game.

Comrie's hip injury hampered his play and he eventually was re-injured, putting him out of the lineup in November and forcing him to undergo surgery on December 29th.

Comrie, who is signed for one year at the league-minimum of $500,000, holds a special record for the Penguins. The first goal ever scored at the Penguins' new home, Consol Energy Center, was netted by none other than Mike Comrie.

Husband to Hilary Duff and adorned with the nickname "Duffman", a reference to a classic character on the long-running show, The Simpsons, Comrie struggled early on to impress.

Since being injured only two games into the season, he hasn't really had a chance to prove his worth. Comrie will now be given that chance and for a Penguins team that could use some scoring touch, he is a sight for sore eyes.

Comrie has only recorded five assists in 16 games with the Penguins this season, but will look to make more of an impact heading into the playoffs.

For anyone having doubts or not excited by Comrie's return, remember when healthy he has put up 33 goals and 60 points in one season before. Comrie also has the speed to fit into the Penguins' system. However fans have not had a chance to see his true speed with his nagging hip.

With the Penguins' young center Dustin Jeffrey going down with yet another injury to his leg last night against the Philadelphia Flyers, Comrie will be taking Jeffrey's place on the roster.

While Comrie will not be counted on to get physical or grind opponents down in the corners, he can be counted on to put the puck in the net. Now injury-free, Comrie has a perfect chance to step up and help the Penguins in the playoffs.

Comrie will be slotted in on the left wing tonight, centered by Mike Rupp on the fourth line. Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma plans to ease him back into play and will move him as his comfort and level of play increases.

By the night's end, Penguins fans will hope to hear one classic line: "Duffman wins it for the Penguins, ohhh yeaaa."