Sidney Patrick Crosby was born on Aug. 7, 1987 (8/7/87) in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Before he was 14-years-old, he had the attention of the hockey world. Wayne Gretzky called him the next “great one,” and hockey publications began following the phenom. Crosby has spent a long time in the spotlight.
The Penguins captain and one of the five greatest players in NHL history is also one of the most superstitious players in the NHL–and you can probably figure out why he wears No. 87.
Crosby, now 34, has scored the second most famous goal in Canadian hockey history, hoisted three Stanley Cups, won the first outdoor game, battled through the physical poundings reserved for only the best in the sport, and wowed millions of fans with his on-ice play and off-ice generosity. Crosby became the next great superstar after Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, and luckily for Pittsburgh fans (and hockey fans), he has plenty more to give.
Honorable Mention–Crosby Comeback #1
Crosby returned after missing more than 60 games on Nov. 21, 2011. He missed the final 48 games of 2010-11, then the first 20 of 2011-12. It was an agonizing process for fans, the team, and player alike. When Crosby finally returned, the hockey world rejoiced.
A high volume of Twitter responses to PHN named this as the top Crosby memory and forced its inclusion. However, lost to history is that eight games later, Crosby missed the next 40 games with concussion symptoms. The superstar wasn’t fully healthy until a Los Angeles-based specialist diagnosed Crosby with a soft tissue neck injury in February.
Sidney Crosby returned for good on Mar. 15, 2012, against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Now, the Top 5 moments list.
#5 Sid Goes Up, Over, and Around Carey Price
No explanation is possible. Just watch. Only Crosby could score this goal.
#4 The Rookie’s Shootout Goal
Nov. 10, 2005. The old Civic Arena shook as Crosby put on a show in his first game against his hometown team, the Montreal Canadiens. Eddie Olzcyk was the coach, Penguins owner Mario Lemieux had not retired with a heart condition, and the Penguins season had not yet collapsed. The Penguins franchise again had the game’s newest superstar, and hope filled the arena.
Crosby scored the first goal of the game, but it went to a shootout, which was a brand new wrinkle in the NHL following the 2004-05 lockout. For many fans, this shootout was the first they had ever seen. After Montreal goalie Jose Theodore stoned Lemieux and Mark Recchi, it was Crosby’s turn to win it. And he did. Duh.
#3 Sid Dribbles P.K.
2017 Stanley Cup Final. It won’t be a moment most Pittsburghers circle as a top moment, but the significance transcended his Penguins legacy. The slings and arrows of being soft or whining dogged Crosby in hockey circles for the first portion of his career. The Penguins repeated playoff failures didn’t help Crosby’s struggle to achieve a reputation befitting his talent and stature.
When Sidney Crosby lifted the 2016 Stanley Cup, the moment elevated his legacy. He became the captain of a two-time Cup winner. The following year Crosby became, in the eyes of even the most hardened Canadian gatekeepers, a tough, grizzled captain willing to do anything to help his team win the Stanley Cup. In the finest hard-nosed Canadian tradition, Crosby not only absorbed a beating from the Nashville Predators and defenseman P.K. Subban, but he also gave it back with nary a complaint.
Those who touted Chicago center Jonathan Toews, as the great Canadian captain had to yield. Crosby took that mantle and upped the ante with back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.
#2 Outdoor Classic
Leave it to Crosby for a dramatic moment. The NHL’s grand experiment–a regular-season game played outdoors–went to overtime. The Penguins and Buffalo Sabres commanded the hockey world’s undivided attention at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Jan. 1, 2008. The falling snow provided a picturesque scene, even as it slowed the game. It was everything the NHL hoped. Fans were glued to the T.V. watching something most had never seen before.
It came down to Sidney Crosby. Of course.
#1 The Golden Goal
Canada finished seventh in the 2006 Winter Olympics, an unacceptable failure for the keepers of the game. In 2010, on home soil in Vancouver B.C., the Canadians again played the rival American team for gold. Regulation time wasn’t enough as the NHL star-laden teams engaged in a heavyweight slugfest.
The most important goal in Canadian history is Paul Henderson’s goal in the 1972 Summit Series. Henderson’s name and that series ring through hockey history with the same ferocity and more than the 1980 U.S. Olympic team. With a concussion, Henderson scored to beat the Soviet Union and preserve Canada’s place as hockey’s keeper. Every Canadian who was alive knows where they were when Henderson scored.
Before 2010, the second most famous goal in Canadian history was Mario Lemieux’s snipe from Wayne Gretzky’s feed, which won the 1987 Canada Cup (how about that line, eh?). The Canada Cup was prestigious, but it’s not Olympic gold. Sidney Crosby delivered gold with the most crucial goal in his hockey career.
Here is the goal from 16 different T.V. broadcasts: