Crash Course: Widely considered the best player in hockey, Sidney Crosby is the leading scorer in the NHL this year. He is on track to win his first scoring title since the 2006-07 season. Crosby is a remarkable offensive player, and he is the key to the Pittsburgh Penguins' Stanley Cup chances this season. Off the ice, Crosby likes to guard the details of his private life. He has been quite successful at it.
Olympic History: The eyes of a nation were on Crosby at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Canadians were not expecting a gold medal from their spectacular team; they were demanding one. Team Canada met Team USA in the gold medal game, and a late goal by the Americans sent the game into overtime. As the pressure mounted, Crosby took a quick pass from teammate Jarome Iginla and whipped the golden goal through the pads of U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller. A relieved Canada celebrated in unison.
Back Story: Crosby has been troubled by injuries during his most recent seasons. He suffered a concussion that kept him out the second half of 2010-11 and the first half of 2011-12. He missed the last month of the 2013 season after suffering a shattered jaw. Fits of petulance in each of his last two playoff years have impacted his reputation.
Strange Bedfellows: Crosby is the unabashed leader of the Canadian team, but Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma will lead the American team in Sochi. Teammate Evgeni Malkin is one of Russia's top players, and all three will be competing against each other.
Stealth Goalie: Crosby guards the details of his off-the-ice life, but during the 2012 lockout, Crosby was so desperate for his sport that he played goalie in an Ohio street hockey league. He was invited by a friend to play, put on goaltending gear and was not even recognized. He did not allow a single goal.
Social profile: Crosby is the rare superstar athlete who does not have a public Twitter page. He has a fan page on Facebook with nearly 700,000 likes, though.
Quote: "I don’t think I’ve looked at it since. Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of it, but I don’t think I’ve looked at it. It’s more about getting another one, isn’t it?”—Crosby to Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun on the gold medal he won in Vancouver.