Ryan’s Rant - Crosby Is One Of The Best

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By Terry Ryan

Sidney Crosby is back, and as is the case with most superstar athletes who come along in sports once a generation, he showed his flair for the dramatic by making a triumphant return on Nov 21 in a home tilt against the mighty New York Islanders.

BetOnHockey_Crosby_Faceoff_400x225.jpgCrosby is above all else a clutch player and showed it once again Monday night with a pair of apples and a couple of snipes  as the Pens dismantled one of the worst NHL teams in recent history 5 - ZIP in front of a packed house at Consol Energy Centre (terrible name for a venue by the way) in the Steel City.  Sid the Kid dazzled on multiple occasions; his 4 points seemed modest given the number of chances he created.   He was flying all night, making one forget about the complexities of his injury and frustration he must have dealt with in the 10 months since he last played an NHL game.  Watching this game I couldn't help but laugh out loud at what I was witnessing; a truly breathtaking performance from a super-talented individual whose God-given ability and abounding desire to succeed leave even non-hockey fans speechless with awe.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a few tears of joy watching Crosby at work; not sure if it was due to the fact that i can identify with post-concussion syndrome and understand his difficult journey or that he is just so good, so modest, and so fuckin Canadian that I can't bare to think of a National Hockey League without Nova Scotia's best ever export (sorry Alexander Keith).

BetOnHockey_Canada_Cup_1987_400x225.jpgI mean, time and time again, the best athletes - I am talking about the truly phenomenal ones - step up to the plate when called upon.  Anyone who has played the coolest game on earth at a relatively high level knows how hard it is to make clutch plays time in and time out and give the honest hockey fans exactly what they came to see on a consistent basis. In my lifetime (I was born in '77), my favorite hockey players to watch were Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.  They are true artists of the game.  At the Canada Cup in 1987, when our nation needed someone to step up in overtime of game 2 against Russia (Canada were down 1 game to 0 in the most famous 3 game series ever), it was Mario, getting his hat-trick goal, from Gretzky.  The next night, in game 3, with the score tied 5 - 5 and time winding down, The Great One fed the Magnificent One and Mario went top cheese over Sergei Mynlickov's glove and under the crossbar sending the country into a frenzy and confirming the status of Lemieux and Gretz as hockey's greatest players.  Over the years, these guys performed when called upon, with an extreme flair for the dramatic, it was almost mystical.  Whether it was Mario scoring on his first shift ever or Gretzky breaking the career goals record in Edmonton after being traded to La-La land, you knew the boys were going to step up.  You were certain of it, and it's no different with Sidney Crosby.

BetOnHockey_Crosby_Scores_400x228.jpgCrosby is proving to be in very select company, and let's hope the Kid stays healthy, for the sake of Crosby himself, his family, the Pens, the NHL, hockey fans, our country, and sports fans in general.  We need him.  At a time in which hockey headlines have been dominated by cheap shots and suspensions and much of North America is facing more and more economic turmoil, it was refreshing to throw on the tube last night and watch the Kid at work.  He is an artist. 

A couple of years ago my wife Danielle and I were in Rome, Italy, and I was having a bad day for whatever reason.  We had breakfast and decided to go and take a look at the Sistine Chapel.  When we got there, into the chapel, I stopped dead in my tracks.  Even though I am not a huge fan of Michelangelo or Renaissance art in general, I wept as we sat and stared at his creations for over an hour.  Looking at his work was humbling, being in the room made me almost feel closer to God. 

Last night, as I watched my favorite player go to work, I felt the same feeling.  Good luck Sid.




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