I have purposely stayed away from writing about the injury situation with my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins. I swear that it would be comical if it was not so damn ridiculous. I can sit and watch as Penguins drop like flies and not get too upset as injuries will happen, even if it has been going on for two seasons now. I can also tolerate losing streaks in which the team struggles to score goals as they fail to have consistent effort from the players. It happens to alot of teams in many sports. Even though things are bleak right now for my favorite NHL team, it hasn’t impacted me negatively as I realize that we will overcome it. It is all temporary in reality but there is one thing that has me legitimately pissed off concerning the Pens.
It outrages me to hear that people think Sidney Crosby is milking the concussion. Whether it is Penguin fans, fans of other teams or the media. It angered me but do you know what disgusted me outright? When I read that there were rumors of the Penguins dressing room turning on Sidney. For the first time in my 20 plus years as a fan of this team I was second guessing my faith in them.
To have fans of other teams in the NHL question Sid is expected but to read that it is own brothers in arms repulsed me. I could not believe it and wanted to hear or see a response by the team to say different. The first to reply to this was Penguins GM Ray Shero who released a statement that said:
“Sidney Crosby is a hockey player. He wants to be on the ice. He’s frustrated. As captain you want to help your team in best of times, let alone a tough streak. He feels that responsibility. When he’s cleared to play he’ll play. We can’t wait to have him back.”- Ray Shero on Sidney Crosby
This was fine but I wanted a response from his team mates. The same guys who were rumored to be turning on their team mate, their captain…..their friend. Then this morning Mr. Paul Kuzma posted a picture of something in the Facebook group PENS-BURGH!!! that was the answer I was looking for and it proved to me that my faith was where it should be. In that dressing room with those players.
This one gesture by the Penguins has me shedding a tear right now as I type these words that you are reading. You may think that it is melodramatic of me to tell you it made me teary eyed and if you feel that way, I apologize. The reason why this has touched me so greatly is that each of the players on the ice has taken the time to make their own version of a Captain’s “C” to show support to Sidney Crosby.
Not only does it squash the rumors of their being a falling out between Sidney and his team mates, but it also so much more impact when you realize that they have taken the time to do this for their friend and captain. This is why I love this team and have since 1986. There is something really special about this team and well yes, it always has been I suppose so let me re-phrase that. There is something extremely rare and special about this group of players.
These men who proudly wear the black and gold are a close knit group. You saw it at length on HBO’s 24-7 but you can see it every day in different ways. They are more of one large extended family. There is a love there for the other players on the team as if they were all brothers of the same blood line.
To see this show of support is one of many things that makes me proud to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I may be a good ole Canadian boy who is a patriotic son of a bitch but I bleed black and gold and this is an example of why.