Saturday, January 07, 2006



I'm not really clear what a "Top-rookie" is, and Ilya Kovalchuk isn't any kind of -rookie, but whatever. The highlights of last night's PIT-ATL game were hilarious and exciting. If Ilya is going to be Crosby's archenemy, rather than Ovechkin, so be it.

[Screencap from the Yahoo! Sports main NHL page]


Crosby's a really good player, especially for a rookie. But he's not as good as Ovechkin, and not even close to Kovalchuk.

The more I see Ovechkin play the more I'm impressed with him. He has absolutely nobody to play with, and still manages to put up huge points, create turnovers, lay big hits, and buzz around the ice like crazy.

Half of the highlights I see of Crosby are out of this world, and the other half are of him whining to the refs or other players, even his own players. I wonder how Pittsburg's veterans like being told what to do by an 18 year old.

Mike Brophy, on the Sportsnet postgame last night, basically brought up your last sentence, wondering by not hammering someone, the Pitt veterans were "sending Crosby a message".

My first reaction to this was, "Huh? What message is that - 'when you're one of the worst teams in the league, just shut up and ride it out'?"

I said this in October and I will say it again now: the fact that Crosby is a yapper (no doubt pissing off veterans on the team) is a huge mark in his favour. The Penguins are a lazy, terrible organization, and if he doesn't get mad, no one will.

(Worse, if he adapts to the Penguins culture, the topside of his career potential is reduced, i.e. the sky is lowered. What a shame that would be, just because John Leclair or whoever doesn't like getting dressed down by an 18-yr-old.)

If the Pittsburgh veterans want to "send Crosby a message" they could probably do it verbally through his landlord, that Lemieux fella. Matt's right--I don't suppose those Pittsburgh veterans like being told what to do by an 18-year-old, but since they're being outhustled by an 18-year-old, they don't deserve pity, let alone elaborate justifications for letting their superstar be cheapshotted constantly. Even Don Cherry is on Crosby's side now.

I think we all owe Eric Lindros an apology. We weren't very happy when he refused to play for a franchise that had its bags packed. Maybe he did the smart thing after all.

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