During his first official media day appearance of 2018-19, captain Sidney Crosby surprised just about no one with his massive outlook for the Penguins’ upcoming season after spending a long offseason away from the ice.
“Whether you’ve won or lost, you still have something to prove when you come into the next year,” Crosby told NHL.com. “There are always things that motivate different guys, but for us, it’s easy to find that motivation.”
That “something to prove” is of course another championship and the potential of winning the coveted Stanley Cup three times in just four years. The unfamiliar feeling of entering the new season without the title of reigning champion has seemingly bothered the irrevocably-focused 31-year-old superstar. Having a three-peat chance cut short by the hands of one of the Penguins’ biggest division rivals probably adds a bit of kindling that already roaring fire to get back at start playing again.
Being gifted — whether or not the Penguins take it that way — with an extra month of recovery unquestionably bodes well for a team whose bodies went through back-to-back Cup-winning years. And though the extra rest is welcomed, it also gave the team 30 extra days to mull over their playoff defeat and steer focus to the new season. It didn’t, however, take away from what the Penguins still have left in the tank.
“I think you still have that urgency,” Crosby continued. “That’s something you have to deal with when you’ve won — kind of starting behind the eight ball a little bit, just as far as your body and things like that. Whether you’ve won or lost, you still have something to prove when you come into the next year. There are always things that motivate different guys. For us, it’s easy to find that motivation.”
Crosby rarely loses sight on what he wants to achieve next, and bringing home a fourth championship is No. 1 on his list of priorities. He also confidently mentioned that winning with the Penguins team his GM has put together this summer is still very doable. His 89 points (29 goals, 60 assists) constitute as a “down” year for him, and the expectation surrounding Crosby going forward is that he’ll be even more productive in 2018-19. That’s a scary thought for opposing teams.
Needless to say, the captain is chomping at the bit for puck drop against the team that knocked him out back in the spring. October 4 is going to be a high-flying affair.