My co-blogger, a fantastic guy who’s like a brother to me, often posts some small outbursts here (You may have noticed) in fits of emotion. I think it’s fantastic, but last night he touched on a topic that seems to be gaining a bunch of traction in the online hockey community. Sydney Crosby scoring to win the gold medal for Team Canada.
Let me be perfectly clear about this. I am no great Sydney Crosby fan. I happen to think on many nights he isn’t even the best player on his own team, let alone the best in the NHL (Hello Mr. Ovechkin, please have a seat and we’ll get right back to you in a moment). Here’s the thing though…. Sydney Crosby has been crammed down the throat of the average NHL fan. He has not, however (Folks in Detroit probably won’t want to hear this next part) done a single thing on his own to warrant the hatred. He’s a good player. He stays out of trouble. He gives nice, safe, cliche answers when asked questions in the media. Pretty easy to see why he was chose as the face of the “New NHL”, isn’t it?
Alex Ovechkin? Better player (from one fan’s viewpoint). But plays too close to the edge, has too much fun, and doesn’t worry about playing it “safe”. Too risky to fill the “spokesperson” role. He actually reminds me of a young Jeremy Roenick in his early Chicago Blackhawk days. Reckless, aggressive, fearless. A must see player.
Back to young Mr. Crosby though. For all the promoting people complain about, let me say this… he earned his spot on Team Canada with his play. By the admission of the announcers his play in the gold medal game was anywhere from “not great” to “quiet” up until that goal. He stepped up when it mattered though.
And this, this is for all the people in Detroit. The player you love to hate. The one that has you proclaiming “Anyone but him!” and “Why did it have to be him?” was there, and was on the ice to score that goal because of two people that fans of Red Wing hockey hold dear (If not holy).
Those two guys know a thing or two about winning hockey. If they thought Sydney Crosby deserved to be there, I have to agree.
Congratulations to both Team Canada and Team USA for putting on two of the best games of Olympic hockey in a long, long time. And congratulations to Ryan Miller, the USA goalie who was tournament MVP. He was outstanding.
As I’ve said before, Olympic hockey is not “What NHL hockey should be” but this time around these two teams made it (For two games at least) everything Olympic hockey is supposed to be. Entertaining right to the end.