By now we’ve all read the comments:
- Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored a goal since Mothers Day.
- Sidney Crosby hasn’t shown up to the Finals.
- Sidney Crosby hired a beard donor to give him facial hair for the playoffs.
- Sidney Crosby clubbed baby seals in Baffin Island with Pamela Anderson.
Tonight, Game Three of the SCF is going down and, as the ticket above indicates, it really couldn’t get much bigger for Sid the Kid. There are plenty of supremely talented players in pro sports that have problems winning the “big ones,” and over time their star begins to lose a little of that shine it once had.
Golfer Phil Mickelson is a once-in-a-generation talent, but it wasn’t until he snaked his first major that people stopped calling him names. B-baller Lebron James has been widely considered the heir apparent to MJ, but has been unable to win a championship in his first five years in the league and is forced to console himself in a bath of millions of dollars nightly.
Granted Crosby is 20, but he turns 21 on August 7. Also, getting blown away in your first Stanley Cup Finals isn’t exactly the stuff from which legends are made. Who knows when the Pens will be back in this position? Wait, no not THIS position—being down 2–0 and not having scored a goal in the first two games. The OTHER this position—being in the Finals and riding high on a wave of youthful enthusiasm and crippling nervousness. The Penguins don’t necessarily think they can keep this squad of young guns together forever, and in bringing in Hossa have sent the message that the time is now.
You hear that, Sid? The time is now.
Let’s not overwhelm you with strategy or a bunch of sneak plays. Let’s keep it simple. Try scoring a goal. See if that works. ‘Cause if we have to hear Hal Gill talking about what it will take to climb out of a 3–0 deficit (hint: it involves plugging away) things are going to get ugly up in here real fast.