THN: "Sid the King"
56% aller NHL-Spieler halten gemäß einer Umfrage der nordamerikanischen
Eishockey-Fachzeitschrift "The Hockey News" den 19-jährigen Sidney
Crosby für den derzeit besten Spieler.
They might not be able to
rattle off the names of all the players in the league the way they did back in
the old six-team NHL.
But today’s NHLers know a
good thing when they see it. That has not changed.
The majority of players
polled by The Hockey News – 56 per cent –named super sophomore Sidney Crosby
the best player in the NHL this season. Also, 76 per cent of players polled
chose him as the player they would build a franchise around.
San Jose’s Joe Thornton was second in the best player category (eight per
cent) while last season’s rookie of the year, Alexander Ovechkin of the
Capitals, was second amongst players to build a franchise around (15 per cent).
“Aside from the great
talent he possesses, the thing that distances him from the other great players
in the league is his competitiveness,” says Rangers right winger Brendan
Shanahan, a player who shares Crosby’s passion
for the game and drive for success.
“We have so many great
players who have amazing talent, but what Sidney
has is second, third and fourth effort. He refuses to be denied. People used to
describe what made Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux so great, and it was that
same competitiveness that Sidney
Crosby’s ascent of the throne has been remarkable and rapid. The
19-year-old grabbed the NHL scoring lead Dec. 13 and hasn’t looked back. When
he scored his 28th goals (and 98th point) of the season March 2, Crosby became the youngest player in NHL history to reach
200 points in his career. He did it at 19 years and 207 days, bettering Wayne
Gretzky’s mark of 19 years, 347 days.
It couldn’t have really
come as a shock to Crosby that he would emerge
as the players’ player of choice, but he was flattered nonetheless.
“It’s huge,” Crosby says. “Especially coming from guys you play against.
To have their respect means a lot to me.”
Informed of Crosby’s double honor, Penguins first-year GM Ray Shero
joked, “Did I get picked luckiest general manager?”
Shero knows he is fortunate
to be running a team blessed with the league’s best player, plus a rising star
in Evgeni Malkin. Let’s not forget Jordan Staal, who is barely 18 and set a
rookie record with seven shorthanded goals.
Crosby, though, is the show. And everybody knows it.
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