In the third period of Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, with a tied game....this is the time when any great player wants his time to shine, right Crosby?
Actually Crosby was nowhere to be found.
OK, so gone are the days/players of Ronnie Lott who reportedly bit off his injured finger, while competing in the Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49er's.
Gone are the players like former Leaf Bobby Baun who after breaking his foot due to a Gordie Howe slap shot, scored the game winner in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals, to eventually see his team win it in seven.
Gone are the days of Paul Kariya being "leveled" by Scott Stevens only to return to score the game winner in Game Six for the Ducks.
Gone are the days of Bobby Orr winning Canada Cup MVP honors in 1976 on a pair of knees that only allowed him to play 26 games in the three following years.
Gone are the days of Kurt Schilling, pitching on a bloody ankle for the Red Sox (no pun intended) while giving the Boston organization its first Pennant since 1918.
However alive and well is Crosby's 9:59 of playing time, and his one shot on goal in Game Seven...doesn't exactly send chills down your spine does it?
And to top the night off, hockey fans were left wondering; what's with this guy and hockey traditions?
When you play hockey long enough, your going to lose, and your going to win...the trick is to do it with sportsmanship.
After finally bringing home hockey's most illustrious prize, Crosby was found dishonoring the game in typical Crosby fashion.
As captain Crosby chose not to lead his team into the traditional end-of-series-handshakes, but rather to take to the end of the line, I can say there is certainly no shame in that (except for the fact that he is Captain and all). However, as you watch the shakes, the eager players go first (probably to get it out of the way), then come the guys who were interviewed before hand or whatnot, then come the coaches.
However, Niklas Lidstrom (captain of the Red Wings, and first in line), and Kris Draper (a guy who knows a thing or two about winning) were not awarded Crosby's presence, as he thought his time more fitting in celebration with his teammates (although video replay shows them quick to get themselves to the handshake line).
So why make a big deal about this? After all, "(He) made the attempt to go shake hands. (He's) been on that side of things, too. (He) know it's not easy, waiting around."
Well its certainly not the first time he's had to do it. It's not hard even as overblown millionaires to show respect towards your opponents and the game in-and-of-itself, Crosby's quick to remind, "I just won the Stanley Cup, and I think I have the right to celebrate with my teammates."
I wouldn't have made such a big deal about this one except for the fact that I too have been snubbed in the handshake.
As coach of my provincial Ball-hockey team, I was caught in the heat of the moment and told one opposing player to shut-up and sit down, as he was picking on one of my smallest players. At the end of the game, I took my place at the end of the line (tradition, I like to make sure my guys take their glove off and are good sports) and as it turns out, the same opposing player also took to the end of his line. As he made his way to me, he quickly took his hand away so that he wouldn't have to wish me the traditional "good game". I was not as much personally offended that the little punk didn't want to shake my hand (as I assure you those feelings were mutual), it was more disrespectful towards the referees who called the game, the organizer's who brought the tournament together, as well as towards the two very talented teams that had just competed in what was a scoreless affair.
So what does this mean and why is it first?
Hockey players have a long, long memory. And if it isn't Draper himself or one of the Red Wing members directly; players as a collective whole will not soon forget this one, and in the words of Ken Hitchcock, "Someone will make (him) eat his lunch...through a straw."