Monday, August 30, 2021

Heel-to-Heel and Other Crosby News

Hockey season is less than four weeks away... The National Hockey League, that is. The regular season starts on October 12th with my team, the Penguins, at the Stanley Cup winning (again) Tampa Bay Lightning. 

2022 also has hockey in the Winter Olympics, and it looks like Canada has made their choice for captain, as if there was ever going to be any choice: Sidney Crosby. (Of course, he's also captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins.) Here's Crosby and his fellow hometowner (close enough) Nate MacKinnon wearing the Canadian sweaters, with Crosby sporting the captain's "C" on his left shoulder:
If you're a hockey fan (or, needless to say, Canadian), Sidney Crosby will forever be a national hero due to scoring one of the most famous goals in hockey history/Canadian history (is there any difference?) at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in Vancouver, defeating the United States to win the gold medal in overtime. Here's a nice look back from the CBC:

Here's the live version of the play. First Crosby takes the puck through most of the U.S. team. Then, he defeats another U.S player to pass the puck. Then -- I didn't learn this until recently -- is that at 0:08 in the video you can hear Crosby yell "Iggy." He's shouting at Jarome Iginla, who he (Crosby) had just tossed the puck to back in the corner, to feed him the puck back on his (Crosby's) way to the goal. Amazing to able to hear that over the sound of the crowd.

Anyway, before I found the tweet on top with Crosby wearing Canada's "C," I was just going to post the video below, about Crosby's edgework on his skates. Crosby does this thing that I don't know if anyone else does, and you can see in the video's screencap and several times in the video -- at times he puts his skates heel-to-heel, so his feet are splayed out at 180 degrees to one another, and he then circles around, usually from behind the goal. Not only does he seem to gather a lot of speed from this maneuver, he keeps his face in front of him the entire time, looking right at the puck, instead of having to look to the side as everyone else has to when they're skating sideways. It's really beautiful to watch when he does it and it seems very effective.

I really regret that I didn't start watching hockey seriously until 2018, after the Penguins won their back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2015-16 and 2016-17, and most of all that I missed watching Sidney Crosby in his glory days from 2005 to about 2017, when he was spectacular. He's still pretty good, especially as a 200-foot player and particularly as a leader, and many people put him as one of the best five players to ever play the game (along with Gretzy, Lemieux, Orr, and Howe). But the Penguins aren't serious contenders anymore -- they've lost in the first round of the playoffs for three years in a row now -- and their superstars -- Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang -- are all in their mid-30s -- and they're slowing down and the team don't have the size needed in today's NHL, it seems. It's unlikely Crosby can lead them to another Stanley Cup. But hey, he has three, which is a lot more than most. And he has the Golden Goal, and about every trophy that it's possible to win. And he's such a nice guy.

Thanks for allowing an indulgent post. I guess this blog has become one of whatever I find interesting.


Layzej said...

Beautiful. You may turn me into a hockey fan :)

David Appell said...


David Appell said...

PS: thanks for the compliment.

David Appell said...

NHL players are cleared by the league to play in the Olympics, under an agreement with the Player's Association:

The Penguin's head coach Mike Sullivan will be the head coach of the USA team.