COME ON PEEKSY FOR THE WIN BABY GO GET IT
By K.C. Johnson
They each have scored the game-winning goal for Canada in the last two Olympic gold-medal victories.
They each have won at least one Stanley Cup and seized enough individual hardware to make trophy cases swell.
But Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby never have skated against each other in a regular-season NHL game. That the first time will come Saturday night at Soldier Field as part of the NHL’s Stadium Series is enough to turn teammates into fans.
"Those are the matchups I’d pay to see," Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi said.
Hockey isn’t about individual matchups. And the respect that flows between the Canadian Olympic teammates and team captains is palpable. But that’s a lot of star power for one rink to hold, even if that rink is placed inside a 61,500-seat football stadium with the Chicago skyline as its dramatic backdrop.
"I guess you can say he’s the best player in the world," Toews said. "It’s always fun to play against the top players in the league. He’s pretty much that guy."
Toews posted his first career hat trick in the Penguins’ 5-4 overtime victory on Feb. 27, 2009, a game Crosby missed with a sore groin. The next season, Crosby sat with the same injury and the Hawks prevailed in overtime.
Concussions prevented Crosby from playing in the other two potential matchups, a Hawks’ shootout victory on Feb. 20, 2011 and a 3-2 Penguins triumph on Dec. 20, 2011.
As familiar as Crosby and Toews are with each other’s games, there are still moments that surprise.
"The one thing I’ve noticed playing with him at the Olympics is his speed through the neutral zone," Toews said. "You see the highlights of some of his goals when he’s sneaking through three guys and that’s because he’s able to find those holes and does it with a lot of speed."
Speed is what Crosby used to cut short a question about what makes Toews’ game so special.
"Just his two-way game," Crosby interrupted. "Offensively, he’s really dangerous and strong on the puck. He competes every night so he gives himself a chance to be consistent. Defensively, he takes a lot of pride in that side.
"You don’t win as much as (the Hawks) have in the past without everybody kind of buying into playing a certain way. He kind of leads the way there."
Crosby answered “hopefully” when asked if he saw any similarities between their games. And he clearly relishes being Toews’ Olympic teammate.
"Playing with him in Vancouver and then seeing him four years later, it’s funny it goes by pretty quick," Crosby said.
If there’s any justice, Saturday night will pass slowly, allowing fans to savor a first that has been years in the making.
One-timers: Penguins winger Tanner Glass took the ice with an iPad to document the surroundings. “It’s a memorable experience and one you don’t know if you’ll have again,” he said. Glass also scoffed at questions about conditions. “I don’t know if you saw the wind chills in Saskatchewan last week but this is nothing,” he said. “It was minus-67.” … Dan Bylsma is fully aware of Patrick Kane’s skill. But as Team USA’s Olympic coach in Sochi, the Penguins leader gained a new appreciation. “I learned quite a bit about his competitiveness,” Bylsma said. “And he just has some nasty skill with the puck.”
I fear there won’t be any surprises in here, anonymous! But I got excited anyway.
(Yoooo, this got long as hell again.)
- The fact that they’re apparently deaf to innuendo:Perhaps it’s fitting that the very first shot Toews took in the NHL, back on October 10, 2007 was a goal — assisted by Kane, as the only score in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks.Or when a journalist asked what the best date they’ve ever organized was, and they both said “Ask him” and then were commenting on each other’s romantic styles? I don’t know.
“Yeah, I gave him his first,” Kane says, with a smile. “But something tells me that over time I’m going to get more [assists] from him.” (Source.)
reason #9 as to why werewolves are better than vampires (x)
*breaks leg* but..are my eyebrows okay?