Sidney Crosby is the best hockey player in the world, that much is pretty clear. As things stand right now, he has 26 goals - six more than the next players - and 42 points - third in the NHL, behind Evgeni Malkin and Connor McDavid - in 32 games played - fewer than anyone above him.
All this comes after winning the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe about six months ago, too. And the World Cup of Hockey with Team Canada. He’s at the top of his game. He’s 29 years old and this is probably as good as we’ve ever seen him, and he’s been good for a very long time.
So it’s only natural he’s been one of the first four named to the NHL’s All-Star Game, which will be played on Jan. 29 in Los Angeles. He captured the most votes out of all players in the Metropolitan Division, and so, he gets to captain the team for the skills competition and three-on-three tournament.
... In theory. Crosby is a notorious All-Star Game-avoider, to the point that John Scott has more All-Star goals than he does.
This begs a few questions.
- What injury is Crosby going to fake to get out of this one?
He probably won’t go the head route; considering his concussion history, that would be a particularly cruel way to say “no, I don’t want to do this.” Maybe he’ll sprain his pinky finger or something. Or get a nasty cold.
- Who replaces Crosby as the Penguins’ representative?
Uh, the Penguins are one of the best teams in the NHL this year. Malkin is leading the league in points, and everyone loves Stanley Cup Champion Phil Kessel. Even if Crosby does bow out, the Penguins aren’t gonna be short on representation.
- Does the bye week have any impact on Crosby’s decision?
Here’s a thought. Crosby has had a really busy year. He played well into June, and then went right back at it at the World Cup. Pretty much the only break he’s gotten as of late was missing the first six games of the season with a concussion, which isn’t a break at all. It’s actually kind of the opposite.
But new this year is the bye week, which the Penguins are currently on: no games for the entire first week of January. With the All-Star Game at the end of the month, does this current time off impact Crosby’s decision? Considering the roll he’s been on for pretty much a year now, it’s actually not that difficult to imagine him wanting to soak it all in further, and actually go.