It isn’t a surprise that in the city of Pittsburgh sports aren’t a past time. It’s a religion with Steelers Sunday and Penguins hockey being the time of worship as we all huddle around a game for the sermon. We bleed our colors here. It’s one of the things I love most about this city. It’s just in our DNA, and in return our teams have rewarded us with championships.
We’ve grown used to it. So used to it that sometimes we forget how lucky we are. For example, we are so lucky to have a two-headed monster is our city. Seriously, how many other places can claim that?
Over the years this has become the standard. On a power play. Sometimes when we are behind and a coach decides to double up on talent. It has become normal and that is the most dangerous thing.
It’s easy to forget that players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren’t owed to us. They are special. They love Pittsburgh so much that they both took pay cuts to stay here. And that needs to be engraved in our minds by any means necessary.
Either player, especially Malkin, could have left Pittsburgh to get more money and, in Malkin’s case, he could have left Pittsburgh to be on the first line on another team. We have had other players do that and frankly I would not have blamed him.
He didn't though. And because of that for 82 regular season games a year (and more with playoffs) we get to watch two of the best players in the world light up opposing goals. They are ours and imagining them somewhere else is devastating.
What we need to do is remember this the next time they are in a slump. Fans tore Sidney Crosby apart at the beginning of the season because of his slow start. They demanded a trade for a guy that is Pittsburgh. It wasn’t fair or just, and he deserved the same loyalty he has shown us.
And now? Sidney Crosby has 14 points in 8 games. He looks like himself and did the second that Mike Sullivan’s system kicked in. Crosby’s talent is rooted so much in how he views the game and how hard he works. There is not a single player in the NHL that works like he does at it. He’s the best player but continues to practice like he still has so much to prove.
It wasn’t a result of some random and sudden decline and frankly so what if it was? He can’t be human and have rough patches? I know I have had many rough spots in my life and I am sure you have too.
So the next time Crosby and Malkin are slumping, go back and read this article. Always remember that Pittsburgh is the lucky one they chose. They too bleed black and gold.