Just like that, I don’t hate Sidney Crosby anymore

I’ve never been a fan of Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby. I’d like to say I have reasons, but the truth is I just don’t like him.

My Sidney Crosby hating days are now over. What made me change my ways? It was the Pittsburgh Penguins at the New York Rangers game played Wednesday, January 2, 2019. The Penguins won the game 7-2, but that’s not what made me finally stop hating on Crosby. No, it was something Crosby did immediately after the game.

Rangers fan Nick Lipeika was in attendance sitting next to the penalty box and he was insulting Crosby all game long. Nothing mean-spirited, just good-natured chirps. I don’t know everything this fan said, but from what I’ve read, they were quite funny. For example, from ESPN:

“Hey Crosby, when Gatorade wanted a tough guy, Justin Bieber turned them down so they settled for you.”

“Hey Crosby, you were voted third-toughest Canadian, behind Celine Dion and a close second to Avril Lavigne.”

What Sidney Crosby did

How did Sidney Crosby, the man I’ve disliked since the Penguins drafted him and he entered the league in 2005 all of a sudden become such a model human being? By being a good sport and sending a personally autographed game-played hockey stick to Lipeika.

(Photo @marcus_mouning)

How can anyone hate Sidney Crosby after something like this? The normal thing to do was to just ignore Lipeika both during and after the game. He also could have signed the stick with a message telling Lipeika to look at the scoreboard. Instead, he wins in a blowout and signs the stick asking Lipeika to “take it easy on me next time.”

Sidney Crosby is a total class act.

I also have a lot of respect for Nick Lipeika

Nick Lipeika (Photo @marcus_mouning)

I have respect for Nick Lipeika. His beloved Rangers were getting blown out at home and he stayed for the entire game. Only a real fan does that.

Compare that to Washington Capitals fans who left early during Game Four of the 1998 Stanley Cup Final when it was apparent the Caps were going to lose the game and the series to the Detroit Red Wings.  Real fans would have stayed to support their team, win or lose. They had a great season and brought the fans a lot of enjoyment. How do they respond when it’s clear the Caps will not be Stanley Cup champions?

By getting the hell out of Dodge. They left the Caps to endure the spectacle of losing the Stanly Cup on their home ice alone and without fan support.

Kudos to Sidney Crosby and Kudos to Nick Lipeika.

The Washington Capitals are Stanley Cup champions

The Washington Capitals beat the Las Vegas Medieval Times Golden Knights last night 4-3 to win the Stanley Cup in five games. It’s the first Stanley Cup for the Caps. The team was established in 1974-75. It’s taken them 34 years to win the Stanley Cup.

Las Vegas Medival Times Golden Knights were established in 2017-18. At least that is when they first pranced on to the ice and began playing hockey in the NHL. Yes, they went to the Stanley Cup their first season in the league.

I hate the Las Vegas Golden Knights

With all sports, there are teams I like, teams I feel indifferent towards, and teams I hate with the intensity of a thousand suns. The Golden Knights fall into the latter category. I hate them because of their stupid pregame shows that feature costumes and special effects. I also hate them because of their fans.

Golden Knights fans are the walking, breathing definition of bandwagon fans. They either never watched hockey before the 2017-18 season or they ditched their former favorite NFL team and latched onto the Golden Knights. Now that their season is over, they can go back to their jobs polishing slot machines or scraping gum off the floor of the gentlemen’s club.

I’m sure that’s all that is. Gum.

I hate the Golden Knights so much that if they returned to the Stanley Cup next year to play the Pittsburgh Penguins, I’d root for the Penguins.

Alexander Ovechkin named Stanley Cup MVP

Capitals’ captain and Russian Alexander Ovechkin was named the Stanley Cups MVP. He scored 15 goals in the postseason, making him the fifth player in the last 25 years to do so.  He’s also the first Russian team captain to win the Stanley Cup. Being that he’s Russian, he probably also helped get Donald Trump elected.

I’ve watched the Capitals since moving to Western Maryland in 1994. I’ve seen them play in at least 18 different uniforms. I guess winning the Stanley Cup in the current uniform means they won’t have to change this one any time soon.

Speaking of uniforms, this is the first year they’ve worn jerseys made by Adidas. The NHL switched from Rebook to Adidas beginning this 2017-18 season. I guess that’s all it took to break the 34-year Stanley Cup drought, a jersey made by a proper athletic clothing maker.