Kane down low, touch pass, he scores!
Unless you are Pittsburgh Penguins fan, your love for Sidney Crosby is rare, the talented Canadian is loved by his own and loathed by opposition supporters.
When the Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Crosby hoisted the famous Cup for a third time.
Former Predator, Patric Hornqvist, scored with 1:35 remaining in the third period to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead.
It capped off back to back Stanley Cup victories for Pittsburgh, the first team to do so in the salary cap era. A fifth title for the city of Pittsburgh, and remarkably, each Stanley Cup coming via a road win.
Crosby was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player during the finals which only added to his growing legacy. A former #1 draft pick, Crosby was dubbed ‘The Next One’ as a play on words on Wayne Gretzky’s ‘The Great One’ mantle.
For all the Stanley Cup, Olympic gold medal, Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Rocket Richard Trophies that fill up Crosby’s cabinet, fans continue to dislike the Canadian star.
In 2013 I watched a documentary titled On The Ice and Beyond which solidified my appreciation for him as a great person on and off the ice. It gives the hockey fan another look at Sidney Crosby the person away from the spotlight.
Since the age of 13 Crosby has been in the media spotlight, talent so high every move was analysed by media outlets. Success followed Crosby everywhere he went, from midget, minor and professional he has reach the pinnacle of the sport.
I have never hated Crosby, I have never found a reason to. All I have done since my time watching the sport is appreciate the player. Yet hockey fans continue to begrudge him the success that others can’t reach.
Diver, whiner and arrogant often used to describe Crosby. The clash with PK Subban during the 2017 Stanley Cup finals and the fact he plays for Pittsburgh gives added fuel to an already lit fire.
He is not the first player to get questionable calls, but if you highlight the calls he gets, don’t ignore the cross-checks he receives that keeps him out of playoff games due to concussion.
Surely even the most cynical of hockey fans can see the calls Crosby gets are out of his control no matter how much you think sport can be fixed. If you don’t, I wonder why you watch sport at all.
Love him or hate him, he is the player of our generation, he draws crowds and fills stands just by having his name on a team sheet. Lifts when the chips are down, leads as every captain should and when the big moments call rises to the occasion.
Crosby is only the third player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in back-to-back seasons, that’s 99 years of hockey, just let that sink in for a minute.
As I watched the Stanley Cup aloft Crosby’s head after the Game 6 clincher, I wondered if one day hockey fans will finally be able to put their dislike aside and give him his dues.
Brian Boucher, former goaltender and current NBC analyst told ESPN.com “I’d put Sidney Crosby right there at No. 5,” when speaking about the all-time greats.
And he is an all-time great, no matter how you spin it Crosby sits in the discussion and at 29 years old in the peak of his career, Lord Stanley will come calling again.
But even a fourth crown still won’t be enough for the Crosby hate brigade.