Chemistry is one thing, “handedness” is another
There were two moments in last night’s NHL Revealed that reminded me of one “chemistry” difficulty – knowing what hand your linemates are. I know that sounds like a super easy thing, but it’s funny how you fall into a mental groove when you know, say, both your linemates are left shots. You’re occasionally passing it to a jersey without knowing which linemate it is, and it’s nice to have that default so you know which side of their body you should pass to.
At one point there’s just a terribly botched pass and Getzlaf says to Crosby (jokingly), “Wait, you’re not right-handed? You’re not Perry?” He really did pass it to the wrong side of Sid’s body.
It’s not just knowing which hand guys are either – some guys like passes on their forehand even when it’s on their backhand side (meaning you pass it behind their back foot), some guys, as we saw Dustin Brown in the show, make it clear they want it “Backhand, backhand” whenever possible.
So that’s the one little glitch that comes with line shuffling – it gives the players one extra, annoying thing to think about.
Willingness to be corny for the cameras = great guy, gets you killed in the room
There was a scene where a player was on the ice but talking to a camera, and he was talking about “what a special event this is” and “he hopes the kids watching were having fun” and so on, and his teammate in front of him is a step away from eye-rolling.
Because guys don’t talk like that in the dressing room, that sort of stuff can get you verballed pretty bad (it comes off as insincere). It’s a shame hockey players aren’t more mature, of course, but *high-pitched voice* “Ohhhh, I really hoping the kids are having fun,” and the rest of that Mother Theresa stuff will make you popular with the public, but make guys mock you in private.
Sports! Where nice guys get faux-bullied!
Debate between “Cup, or Olympic gold?” settled in one question
I was contemplating this last night, and it so plainly settled the question “Would you rather win Olympic gold or the Stanley Cup?” for me I thought I’d share it. (Not that it should be a question, it’s not even close, but I know people who say Olympic gold. I think John Noon is one, harass him.)
Anyway: Let’s say Dan Bylsma knew the perfect way to shut Crosby down. Like Sid had some crazy Achilles heel – I dunno, you touch his left shoulder-blade and he turns into a salamander or something. Would he ever share that secret with Team USA before their game against Canada to help them get to the gold medal game?
Nope, nope, nope. No chance. There are too many opponents of the Penguins in there, and the NHL is his full-time, every day gig that means the most to him. He would never compromise the Penguins to help the US beat Canada because it would hurt his real team.
Simply put, the Cup matters more than Olympic gold. (But hopefully you knew that.)
Has Crosby’s media perfection made him a bit weird?
At this point, Sidney Crosby is basically a grown-up child star who’s managed to have continued success instead of doing things like driving Lamborghini’s through store front windows while on quaaludes like most of them. But because he’s been so flawless in the media – I mean, the guys has done 43270275840 interviews and maybe said something controversial, let alone interesting, a handful of times at most. It’s made him a bit of a robot. He doesn’t seem to be able to joke around or have fun, he’s just a soulless automaton built to destroy other hockey teams.
He actually reminds me a bit of how Tiger Woods was before we found out he had a Joey Chestnut-like hunger for porn stars – you didn’t think there was a real person inside with actual human needs.
Crosby’s “say-and-do the right thing” m.o. in public has to have leaked into his private life, right? You think he’s capable of opening up, or do you think he’s just…always like that?
Babcock and Yzerman are wonderful sociopaths
It was Drew Fairservice who first called Steve Yzerman a sociopath for his complete unwillingness to smile (let alone flinch) when Team Canada would score a big goal at the Olympics. Mike Babcock wasn’t quite that bad, but he reminds me of Yzerman in the way that they’re completely focused on one goal, and until it’s accomplished everything they do or say is with that goal in mind. When Babcock gives interviews, half the time I think he’s speaking with the idea in mind that his players might come across his quotes.
Anyway, I think they’re both rock stars at their jobs, and I admire their focus, it’s just a bit insane to be able to put aside your actual thoughts and feelings so you can funnel everything you do at winning. Now that I think about it, they’re a lot like Sidney Crosby.