Friday, November 04, 2005

The "Next One" Is The Real Deal -- Or So I Hear

He has come to save the NHL

I have never seen Sidney Crosby play. In fact, I haven't even seen him in motion; my only visuals of him have been still photos in magazines and newspapers. Regardless, this kid is supposed to be the next best thing since sliced bread, or Wayne Gretzky, or both.

Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins rookie who has arrived to save the NHL, apparently is off to an alright start -- better than his team, anyway. He scored twice and added an assist in the Pens' 5-1 win over the New York Islanders last night.

In case all that talent that people say Crosby possesses isn't enough, he also happens to be playing on a line with Mario Lemieux, a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer -- and 22 years his senior. That's not a bad crutch for someone starting a new job, eh?

Despite Crosby and Lemieux, however, the Penguins waddled out of the gate, needing nine game before they snagged their first victory. They lost a lot of overtime games and shootouts along the way -- situations in which fellows like The Next One and Mario should shine.

Back in August, for the roundtable discussion that appeared in the inaugural issue of MCS Magazine, I asked Sean Baligian of WDFN radio what makes Crosby so good -- what was it that he does?

"He's so good it's sick," Baligian told me. "You watch this kid and you find yourself watching him and then BAM -- the puck is on somebody's stick and then in the net and you're saying 'Holy S---, you gotta be freaking kidding me!'"

Somehow I think the description of Gordie Howe was a tad different in its verbage.

Regardless, Crosby is here, the NHL should be thankful I suppose, and I can't wait to see him in action. I hear he's a lot better than his photographs indicate.

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