Crosby, inadvertently, has no one to blame for his injuries besides himself. Since he was a youth player he has always been the best player on the ice and countless coaches and players have tried to make the point that he is human by laying him flat on the ice.
No one can skate with him. No one can outshoot him. No one can outmaneuver him. All they could ever do was try and take him out of the game before he hurt their team.
Some, I am sure, try to hit him out of frustration, others were probably order to by senile coaches, though all have purely done it out of an immense amount of respect for his skill. However, once he reached the NHL, the players became bigger, stronger, faster and the hits harder.
It was a recipe for disaster as even at this level of the game, the opposition felt some egotistical need to prove themselves better, by limiting his ability to function as a human being.
All it has done, though, has hurt the players themselves. No one is talking about the player that took Crosby out the first time as some vanquishing hero who was able to stop the game’s greatest talent. No one looks at the guy who took out his knee as some sort of tough guy to be feared an respected.
These two, and all of those that go after Crosby with something to prove, are dopes and the fans have treated them as such.
Crosby’s return needs to be clapped on by more than just the Penguin fans. If his first game is really at MSG, the entire New York crowd needs to stand and give their applause along with the Rangers themselves.
Whether the league’s players like it or not, Crosby is the face of the league. No one has been talked about more than Sidney Crosby in the last year and he has barely played.
The NHL is making a slow comeback into the mainstream sports world. With deals on the new NBC Sports Network, the huge hit of the Winter Classic and general growing interest from casual fans, the league needs a face more than ever to keep it rolling.
The players would do themselves a service if they made sure that faced actually stayed on the ice.