Monday, January 02, 2006

Crosby comes a callin'

The Sidney show makes a Toronto stop on Monday night as Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins skate into the Air Canada Centre to face off against the Leafs and no doubt the aura of Donald S. Cherry. The game is the first of a two game visit to the old home and native land for the young Pittsburgh star.

Crosby has been facing some pretty tough criticism from the Hockey Night In Canada analyst, the most recent broadsides coming when he was named an Alternate Captain on the Pens by new coach Michel Terrien.

Cherry's impressions of the young phenom have not been particularly glowing, going back to a goal scored in Junior and a string of incidents where Crosby complained to referees about his treatment on the ice.

Despite Cherry's hesitations though, stats are bearing out the success the young Nova Scotian is having in the NHL, as he heads into Toronto Crosby is the second leading rookie scorer and on many nights seems to be the only offence the Pens can muster as they muddle their way through the NHL season.

Another percolating issues is Team Canada's decision to leave Crosby's name off the Olympic Team roster for February's Turin Olympic hockey tournament. Crosby may put on a bit of a show for the Rogers Sportsnet Ontario audience Monday, perhaps giving the Hockey Canada officials second thoughts about their decisions.

Regardless of the motivations, Monday should be a big game for the Penguins and their young star, there will be more than the usual attention generated by an early January match up and with the media concentration of Toronto it could prove to be the most intensely watch game for the Pens so far this year.

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