Sunday, January 28, 2007

YouTube & the Crosby Show

Cross-posted from SportsNut

Last night's falling-backwards goal against the Phoenix Coyotes has not yet been posted to YouTube, nor his even more impressive diving pass for the assist in the same game, but rest assured they will be there soon. The good YouTube elves have shown themselves brilliantly assiduous in uploading Crosby clips.

At a time when the NHL has all but disappeared from American view (
coverage up here in Canada has never been better or more extensive -- sorry, suckers)
, YouTube is turning out to be a gold mine for highlights, and Sidney Crosby is the closest thing to a human highlight reel that hockey has seen since Mario in his heyday -- if not since Bobby Orr.

It's not just that he's the first teenager to lead the league in scoring since Gretzky (and if he closes out the year on pace, he'll be the youngest to win the scoring race ever) -- it's that he seems uncontent merely to rack up points, he wants to see how many ways he can do it, bringing an almost NBA dunk-competition stylishness to his play.

He's not too proud to bang in the garbage goals, but he'd much rather make it fun.

He's shown a recent penchant for scoring from his knees; and while hockey fans might appreciate the way he fakes the slapshot and converts it to a no-look pass (very Gretzky play), any sports fan can be wowed when he gets a goal by diving at the puck. (What's so extra-amazing about that one, is it was so exactly intentional -- almost like he and Recchi practiced it that way. "Put it a couple feet ahead of my stick -- no, really, trust me.")

Or how about this one, if you prefer it smooth -- sliding past four Rangers and tucking it in the net like he doesn't even have to try.

This one, I think, is still my favourite, but take your pick. They're all there -- and that's the glory of it.

It seems like the kid's had more jaw-dropping scoring plays in the past year and a half than the entire league managed to produce in the entire decade from 94 to 2004.

But maybe that's unfair. Maybe it's just that, with wall-to-wall [Canadian] sports channels and most of all with YouTube (bless its nerdy little heart), I'm getting not only to see every single one, but re-play them at will, at work, at home, practically learn each one by heart. As far as I'm concerned, Crosby justifies YouTube's existence; and YouTube might just make Crosby a star well beyond the rarefied world of hockey fans.

By the way, as a little bonus -- one of the most frequently re-posted goals on the site is this one, from way back in his Juniors day. The camera-work's sketchy, but it's worth the effort to watch it carefully -- because that goal, my friends, is just batshit insane, no matter how you cut it.


Anonymous said...

Actually, the Youtube clip of the Crosby backhand-while-falling goal was online barely 20 minutes after it happened yesterday.

sydbristow said...

He took some heat when he scored that, call it "lacrosse-style" goal. I think Cherry was one of the bashers. Like it wouldn't have happened in the Ontario or Western leagues sort of thing (apology: that will have no meaning to all but about 2 people here).

Anyway, thanks for posting that stuff, I hadn't seen some of it. The split the defensemen I think is one of the greatest hockey plays you can see, and added bonus if it comes towards the end of an end-to-end rush. Our Univ coach used to have us practice what he called a "stiff stick". What you did was have the puck coasting forward in front of you at about skating speed, and then turn your stick so the point was down and on the ice a few inches in front of the puck acting as a deflector/shield while you were trying to split the D. (Only in American .. in Canada they'd be doing dump and chase of theumpteenth time.) Good stuff.