Sidney Crosby, 17 Seasons On, Ready to Disrupt the NHL Playoffs

TORONTO – The Pittsburgh Penguin is in the playoffs for the 16th consecutive season – the longest series for any team in the top five games in North America – especially because Sidney Crosby, their star-studded venue, had the best weather. in the NHL is 34 years old.

Only seven NHL players have been around longer than Crosby, and six others have joined him in the league in 2005. With the exception of Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals forward who chases down Wayne Gretzky’s goalscoring record, there is no Crosby-age player. or by 17 seasons under its skateboards it has become more and more popular.

Selected athletes such as Tom Brady (44), Tiger Woods (46), Serena Williams (40) and Rafael Nadal (35) have tried to stay on top of their game, and have done well in various ways. Crosby, who has won three Stanley Cups with a boat full of personal prizes on a violent game that is fast and young for a year, has been listening.

No one saw Crosby more than Andy O’Brien. A strong and consistent coach, O’Brien met Crosby at summer hockey school when the player was 13 years old. This summer will be their 22nd working together at Crosby’s off-season house near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

But Crosby does not run in the summer. The Penguins opened their first playoff series against the Rangers Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

“It’s amazing that he’s still one of the best players in the league in his senior year,” said O’Brien, who lives in Toronto and also works as the best coach for the Florida Panthers.

“I don’t see how he went up and now we’re just trying to reduce that decline,” O’Brien said. “He can make the best of the season he’s ever had. He never stops growing as a runner, ready to change and find new ways to work. And the best measuring stick we have is the one he does on the ice.”

Crosby’s performance in 69 games this year scored 31 goals (nine of the best in the game) and made 53 assists, and he persevered in a game that hurt the body. His 84th goal connected him to left-back Jake Guentzel, who is seven years younger than Crosby and has played seven more games.

Crosby missed the start of the season due to hand surgery and Covid-19, but it has been good ever since. Five hundred of his teammates selected him last week to be the best player in the league. And she still is makes it look easier.

“You have to take care of your body a little bit,” Crosby said. “Many years have passed, and in addition, you need to find ways to change the game. There is talk of little things you can do. But taking care of your body is the most important thing. ”

Crosby, who was first selected by the Penguins in 2005 and had hoped to lead the NHL in his closing season, played 1,000 games in February 2021 and won. 500 goal One year later. The Stanley Cups in 2009, 2016 and 2017, with numerous Hart, Conn Smythe, Art Ross and Rocket Richard trophies, two Olympic gold medals, more than 100 points in six seasons and many playoffs for every active player, do their job. In the meantime

“She never said, ‘Well, I just have to be there,’ ‘O’Brien said. “He always forces himself.”

Crosby goes into a corner, fights alongside the boards and scores ninety goals – at parties and toes, from the back and back of the net, to one knee and behind and to the players’ head. Vigorous exercise and active play can, in the short term, replace substitutes for beating opposing players. He is a brave and fast-paced artist who can hit the front, turn this way, explode in the open and find the net, which he did 586 times, including in the playoffs, entering Tuesday.

It is amazing considering its history of injuries: the great wooden eagle from 2008; destructive disruptions that caused him to miss out on two season hits in 2011 and 2012; broken jaw in 2013; another disruption in practice in 2016; orthopedic surgery in 2019; left arm injury from 2014 that required two surgeries in the last two years.

Crosby, O’Brien said, has two talents, the first to be able to withstand a tremendous amount of work.

“They can go crazy for a long time and work very hard and then go on ice and do the same thing,” O’Brien said. “And then the feeling of being ready to go the next day. I had some clients who tried to associate with me, and they wouldn’t get away with it. ”

O’Brien said Crosby had a “parasympathetic nervous system” – which allows for a slight heartbeat and a long-term recovery. He breathes well, so when he is not exercising, his nerves are calm.

Crosby, who put the power first in his career, turned 35 in August. “All of his running – running, courage, performance – is as good as it ever was,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said Crosby had an extraordinary ability to work hard while playing, picking up puck and sucking and hitting, and that his downfall helped him wisely.

O’Brien said: “Most runners who think the game is the best and the best at directing are the slowest runners.” They have the best in the world. “

Crosby is an avid fan of other sports, such as football, golf and tennis – playing and watching – and learns how seniors are stubborn.

“You look at Nadal, he’s just a horse and he’s convinced of his job,” Crosby said. “He always seems to be working hard. Then for someone like Federer, nothing seems out of place. He is gracious and does not seem to be working hard even though he is. They have all done well. You always look for encouragement. “

O’Brien said tennis and ice hockey were very similar. (See Roger Federer on the ice.)

Walking on the ground – lungs, planting, crossing, walking and circling continuously through the trunk – can help develop hockey motor skills. “The upper body always acts differently from the lower body,” O’Brien said.

From 2015 to 2020, O’Brien worked with Penguin as their science fiction and systems director. Seeing Crosby in the season allowed a constant change in Crosby’s career, recovery, diet, sleep and depression, “his whole physiology,” O’Brien said.

Then there is the art of hockey. Crosby said he learned to play under the puck a lot, as well as a lot of patience, following the need to keep going until the right time. “If you’re not under the puck, especially on the defensive side, it could be a long night,” he said. “Depending on how fast you are running, you always feel like you are getting the chance. Getting that point requires time to learn.”

Crosby’s parents, Trina and Troy, were in Pittsburgh to reach their 500th goal. In recent years, Crosby’s grandmother has died, as has her yellow Labrador, 15-year-old Sam.

“Thank you so much for the years,” says Trina. “There have been all the hockey games and all the special events, and life is going on in the middle. That’s a lot I’ve seen over the years. He’s seriously injured, and he gets up every day and does what he loves most.”

Crosby has three years left over from the $ 104.4 million deal he signed when he was 24 years old. Because of superstitious beliefs, he has always been making $ 8.7 million per season. (Wear number 87 on her birthday, Aug. 7, 1987.)

“I only try to see it for a year,” she says. “I still try to learn things all year long, but then you try to figure out where you need to be better and spend the summer doing that. I feel good, I want to emphasize this. But yes, you know.

“I mean, I’m closer to the end than I am in the middle. I understand that, but you try to keep the same attitude you had all this time.”

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