For one day a year, Star Wars geeks get to shine. May the Fourth be with you! Over the last four decades, the Pittsburgh Penguins have put a few players on the ice who seemingly had Jedi skills on the ice. Do you have a better way to explain Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby, or even Alexei Kovalev?
The Penguins midichlorian levels have been off the charts, as padawans have become Jedis, and slain the dark, defensive goaltending order.
Oh, shut up. We Star Wars geeks have endured enough over the last six years. We had Luke Skywalker humbled and discarded like a cranky Howard Hughes. We’ve been tortured with a trilogy that didn’t even agree with itself let alone the established Star Wars canon as a soulless mouseketeering megalith ripped the beloved universe from our fingers, and handed back a twisted, political, disjointed hatchet job which also spawned a pair of wasted backstories, not fit for Wookie nor Gungan.
Ok, Rogue One was really good. But I digress.
This is about the Penguins, and the seemingly magical puck control and physics-bending goals. And, even Sidney Crosby in his most subdued media scrums is still less robotic than Hayden Christensen’s Revenge of the Sith dialogue.
But again, I digress.
The Top 5 Pittsburgh Penguins Jedi
5. Alexei Kovalev Tatooine’s the Sharks
Kovalev has been absent from many of the PHN Top 5 Lists. It wasn’t an intentional slight and not an oversight, but it is time we recognize the Jedi master who used his stick like an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.
Watch Kovalev dance around the San Jose Sharks stormtrooper defense.
Don’t forget to check out who made the cut for the best ever Penguins team: The All-Time Pittsburgh Penguins Team
The All-Time GM Selection: Craig Patrick vs. Jim Rutherford
And, the Penguins All-Time Coach: Mike Sullivan, Scotty Bowman or Badger Bob Johnson?
Since we’ve neglected Kovalev on previous Top-5 lists, please enjoy this bonus goal. Kovalev toyed with this poor Florida goalie using the same calm power of Luke bargaining with Jabba.
Poor, poor Scott Clemmensen.
4. Evgeni Malkin, Fear Leads to Anger, Anger leads to (Goals)
If there was a Penguins superstar who would thrive as a Sith Lord, it would be Evgeni Malkin. Darth Malkin can lay waste to opponents like a Temple full of padawans. The dark side of the force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be…unnatural.
In the 2008 playoffs vs. Philadelphia, Malkin was crushed behind the net with a legal-ish hit. It was the culmination hits and frustration.
Angry Malkin is score. Let the hate flow.
3. Sidney Crosby, Opponents Have a Bad Feeling About This
Adventure, excitement. A Jedi craves not these things. Sidney Crosby simply keeps scoring goals and carrying his team. Picking a favorite or the best Sidney Crosby goal is impossible. Which breakaway, or which magical moment of unbelievable hand-eye coordination would you choose?
Instead, we’ll choose a simple, definitive goal. Clear your mind. Watch Crosby feel the force against Montreal.
Only a Jedi master scores that goal.
2. Jaromir Jagr: Obi-Wan Trains Anakin, Much Fear I Sense
The chosen one (Jagr) may be, nevertheless, grave danger I fear in his training. The player to carry on the Penguins legacy after Lemieux, as Anakin Skywalker was to bring balance to the force. Unfortunately, like Anakin, Jagr was moody under the pressure of carrying the franchise. And he (was traded) to the dark side for padawans and food rations.
Jagr eventually wore the rival sweater of the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers. As the most powerful force in the NHL, he lifted another Lindsey Trophy in 2006 as the Penguins were reduced to a band of rebels.
Perhaps one day, the Penguins will sense the good in Jagr and lift his helmet, so all can embrace his legacy with their own eyes.
Here are Obi-Wan and Annakin, otherwise known as Lemieux and Jagr, taking down Count Dooku (Chicago Blackhawks), in the greatest display of Jedi puck movement in Penguins or NHL history.
If anyone has ever seen two players toy with or so thoroughly dominate opponents, we’d like to see the video. Two all-time greats at the height of their powers.
1. Mario Lemieux, Luminous Beings Are We…Not This Matter
The most powerful Jedi ever known. His early years were a struggle in the Dagobah swamps of the Civic Arena. He wasn’t sure if he could do it. The Pittsburgh Penguins were too heavy. But he completed his training at the 1987 Canada Cup. He saved his friends from the evil empire and a (Canadian) universe rejoiced.
After winning the battles as a player, Lemieux then saved the Penguins universe as the most powerful Jedi of them all–as the owner.
Here is Mario defeating and embarrassing a Hall of Fame defenseman in the Eastern Conference Final
The Jedi were real. I used to wonder about that myself. Thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. A magical power holding together good and evil, the dark side and the light. See, the thing is, it’s true. All of it.
May the 4th Be With You.