Disclaimer: Alright before I start this, I want to remind you this is not an attack on Sidney Crosby’s talent. I get it; the guy is fantablous. There’s no denying it. But on to my anger.
This game should have been as an exhibition game or a circus the way the NHL handled it. The return of The Kid, The Next One, Canadian Jesus, the Canuck Christ, Maple Leaf Messiah, whatever you chose to call him, was disgusting at best.
Hooray for Crosby’s return. I’m genuinely happy such talent was not lost at such a young age, but goodness, he’s not the first player to return from a concussion and he’s, unfortunately, not the last. With all this fanfare, you think Crosby was the only hope for the Penguins. The NHL does realize that the team has done really well WITHOUT Crosby for the majority of the season. Pittsburgh is currently hanging out in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, which is 4th overall in the Eastern Conference. Before tonight, Crosby played in 7 of those games. Look the guy is good but he’s not going to secure a 4th place spot in 7 games. Geez, what must it be like to be a Penguin. Yeah sure you’ve Evgeni Malkin lighting up goalies on a regular basis, but what about James Neal? Jordan Staal? Their stellar seasons are going to be over shadowed by Crosby. And the biggest problem is, he isn’t running his mouth bringing the attention, it’s the fucking marketing department.
And forget about other teams, hey what’s the headline on TSN? Helping Hand: Crosby Records Assist In Return As Penguins Thump Rangers. I’m sorry? An ASSIST is the headlines? Not Cam Ward’s 200th career win, that happened to be a shut out? And it’s not just once he’s mentioned on the TSN homepage. Nope, 4 more times plus a video on the homepage. You know what? Had he managed a hat trick on his return I’d say the man deserves all the hype but he played a safe game (understandable in his condition).
Other problems with the game? You’re the PITTSBURGH PENGUINS. And I’m not saying this as a frustrated New York Rangers’ fan; it’s someone looking at their stats. We aren’t even a decade from their major “rebuilding” years. In 2005, the Penguins started playing Crosby, that season and the 4 previous seasons the Penguins didn’t even make the playoffs. The entire NHL seems to have forgotten the years they ABSOLUTLEY SUCKED. 2005 was also when Marc Andre Fleury became the starting goalie and a season later Jordan Staal and Malkin joined. With those four, building a team became simple. And these guys are scattered on all different lines, having depth is not a problem for the Penguins. But there was a period of time where they floundered. It’s like everyone has insomnia, they remember Lemuix, Jagr, and then they seem to skip this large period of history straight to Crosby. That’s not how it works, just ask the Islanders.
That being said, I want you to take notice of the fact that I didn’t once bemoan the actual game. I know the Penguins out played the Rangers. You saw it coming the second Matt Cooke scored a goal. Matt Cooke is not a hero, stop trying to make him into something he’s not. Congrats, you cut down on your PIM. You should have done this 3 seasons ago when they hit the triple digits consistently.
Look, I get it, the “Savior of Hockey” is back, but a reminder, the NHL survived with out him. He will eventually retire and there will be someone else to come along and be better. People call him a “National Treasure”, he’s not the Stanley Cup, knock it off. He’s a player who will be dethroned soon enough. It happens. He’s not the first Canadian to excel at hockey and he won’t be the last. And you want mention his “golden goal” or whatever you kids are calling it? Fine he scored the winning goal on home ice in a global event in OT, hey congrats! You did it! Guess what? Jonathan Toews and Corey Perry managed to get Team Canada up 2-0, not Crosby, where’s their recognition for doing it on home ice on a global level?
There are 398 other Canadian players in the NHL, good god, can I hear about them for a bit?