I’m a day late on doing this, and anytime I’m a day late on stuff I lead with it, because it bothers the hell out of me!! Plus, I know you’re all on pins and needles anticipating what I’ll have to say about things…right?
While that’s a lie, I’m sure a lot of members of the media are lying yesterday and today claiming they didn’t write off Sid Crosby.
I remember some of the B.S. we were hearing back in December. I recall Damian Cox specifically trying to claim that Sid hadn’t been the same since his concussion in 2011. Right, that’s why he was dominant for the first 3 months of 2013 and a puck to the jaw cost him the Hart trophy? That’s why the next season he WON the freaking Hart trophy?!
Cox was far from the only one, but that was the one that took the cake for me. I laughed at the time, and I’m laughing even harder now.
I understand the controversy in selecting him as the Conn Smythe winner, but was there really another choice? It wasn’t Matt Murray, he was just ordinary after the Washington series. It wasn’t Phil Kessel, while he had 22 points in 24 games he was feasting (cue the jokes) off weaker opposition. The people complaining about Crosby getting the Conn Smythe aren’t even pointing out the one guy who actually has a case, Kris Letang. Letang played over 28 minutes a night, put up 15 points, and would often see the other teams top line.
But Sid was deserving because he is about much more than numbers. Crosby has the ability to lead the league in scoring every season, and a lof of seasons he has. But he is a complete player. This seems to be acceptable for Jonathan Toews because we gave him that label when he was drafted. But the label Crosby got was “once in a generation player”, and that guy can’t sacrifice offence to do all the other heavy lifting to help his team win.
I feel like that’s what this Conn Smythe award is saying. In 2014 I was rolling my eyes pretty hard at Justin Williams winning the award. Yes, he was Johnny on the spot for a lot of big goals. But the Kings win that Cup without Williams, they don’t without Drew Doughty. The media seemed to figure it out a bit after that one. Last year Duncan Keith was the clear cut guy and won it, and this time around, despite only posting 19 points and a minus 2 in 24 games they recognized that the Pens don’t come close to the Cup without Crosby.
He does all the heavy lifting for this team. Takes all the key faceoffs, has all the tough assignments, he never cheats leaving the zone, he’s one of the best forwards in the league below the dots in his own zone, he very literally does it all. He’s hockey’s version of LeBron James. Fans in the NBA don’t like that James doesn’t play like Michael Jordan did and go for 40 or 50 a night. James is a complete player. He looks to be the best in all facets of the game. That is who Crosby is.
As for the Penguins as a team, while it is WAY too early to be saying this stuff, I have to say that no team has ever been better positioned to repeat since the 97/98 Detroit Red Wings. They’re young, they’re healthy, this was the first deep playoff run they’ve had in 7 seasons, they don’t have anyone who would be irreplaceable set to leave, and they can get some cap relief by moving out Marc-Andre Fleury (although Jim Rutherford better trade for or sign a solid veteran). I’m not saying they’re going to repeat, but they are as well positioned as anyone has been to do it.
And let’s not forget, they got Sid. He’s the best player on the planet. Next time he has a slump, let’s not forget that.
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