8/7, 8/7, 8/7...
That can only mean one thing:
One of the best reasons to watch Sidney Crosby play hockey is that you never know when you might see something that you’ve never quite seen before. You know, like this:
A casual between-the-legs backhand pass on the power play:
Okay, so maybe his between-the-legs passes aren’t that unique:
He’s also demonstrated some hockey I.Q. by not touching the puck first (would have stopped play for a hand pass), but then as soon as the dopey Ranger makes an ill-advised play on it, Crosby’s there to instantly deposit it intoto the back of the net from behind the net about one second later:
That Crosby guy is pretty good at hockey, eh? pic.twitter.com/drLRT3YHKX— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 18, 2017
One more for the road:
You can do everything right defensively to take away the pass lane, but you can’t really take it away from Crosby:
Sidney Crosby passed it through Alzner's legs to set up a goal pic.twitter.com/ymS1zxddmE— Hockey Highlights (@BestHockeyClips) January 17, 2017
I think my favorite example from last season was this goal against the Devils. Crosby beats the goalie with a shot that hits the post and ricochets back to him, so he simply swats it out of mid-air and beats the goalie again; this time, he scores. Usually Crosby’s happy to score, but in this celebration you can see he actually impressed himself.
Crosby is here for opening day in OT. ⚾️ pic.twitter.com/hy4PUGJn00— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) March 30, 2018
The only limitations of remembering and celebrating great Penguins moments with Crosby are pretty much just your own memory. Whether it’s edge-work on his skates, incredible passing plays, finding pucks from awkward positions (like falling or from his butt and still playing them), scoring from bad angles, scoring from mid-air, etc. Crosby’s probably the most clever and uniquely skilled player that there ever was when it comes to coordinated plays and making the most out of unusual positions.
Here’s a really interesting article exerpt about Crosby off the ice and his “brand” (if you will) from Sportsnet:
Crosby is the most sought after name in hockey, and other brands have lined up to work with him. But after more than a dozen years in the spotlight, the public still knows very little about his identity beyond the rink. We know he’s obsessed with the game. We know he’s polite off the ice and capable of flashing a mean streak on it. We know he’s deeply connected to Cole Harbour, N.S. — his hometown — and to his family. We know he enjoys fishing, studies World War II history, is a Blue Jays fan, and that he’s relatively frugal with his fortune.
While other sports superstars lead outsized, lavish lives, Crosby seems content to stay out of the glare of modern celebrity. He shares little of his political beliefs or his stance on social issues. There are no Instagram posts of flashy cars or swanky holidays, and no leaked photos from wild weekends. Any romantic links remain in the vault. Crosby is the anti-celebrity, the superstar we’ll never know the way we seem to know most other superstars. And that hasn’t lessened his popularity one bit: Twelve seasons into his NHL career, Crosby’s sweater is still the league’s best-seller, and his $4.5 million in annual sponsorship revenue, as reported by Forbes, outstrips any other player in the game.
Last year, when Sid turned 30, it was a sudden realization that, even though you kinda knew he was closer to the end than the beginning of his career, seeing the number three at the start of his age drove it home.
Now, at 31-years-old, he’s still under contract for the next seven seasons. Given the way he was working out and looking in the video posted yesterday, it doesn’t look like Crosby is slowing down or that is never-ending love of the sport has dwindled a bit. That’s a good thing and something to always enjoy, as Pittsburgh fans have been spoiled to again have the greatest player of his generation play for the Pens.
Happy birthday, Sid. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next season.