The PITT and the PENdulum

Sidney Crosby is a primadonna, schoolboy bitch.

I could stop there but won’t. I can’t help myself…

I grew up worshipping the Pittsburgh Penguins. Posters of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr lined my walls. Every other day I wore a Pens jersey to school. But the Penguins I remember were different. They had class. Lemieux, Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Jagr, Tom Barrasso — all true ambassadors of the sport.

Fast-forward to 2016 and I hardly recognize them.

Team captain, Sidney Crosby perennially acts like a spoiled brat with shit in his pants. The stunt he pulled on the Nashville Predators’ P. K. Subban behind the net last night was inexcusable. It was one of the sleaziest, most unsportsmanlike exploits I’ve ever seen. Hockey is a rough game. It’s not for the faint of heart. But to hold a man down while repeatedly bashing his skull into the ice is beyond the pale. Then to stare straight into the eyes of the referee while doing so and play the village idiot… shameful!

Then in the next period, the Child Captain throws a water bottle from the bench onto the ice during a live play. In theory, this should warrant a stoppage of play and a penalty — but not in the Steel City… where citizens brush their teeth with factory soot and the dejected population survives on a sad diet of infant formula and Pabst Blue Ribbon. Dirty is the new clean in Western Pennsylvania. And instead of blowing the play dead, the refs allowed the home team to surge down the ice and score.

To be sure, Crosby is an incredible player. He’s a phenom — a bit of a lurking, cherry-picking pansy — but a phenom nonetheless. And as much as I want to hate him, Jake Guentzel has had one of the best rookie playoff performances of all time. Goaltender, Matt Murray is likely on speed.

Evgeni Malkin, who looks like a gangly Mark Wahlberg after facial reconstruction surgery, is an undercover communist agent with known ties to the Kremlin. Where’s Senator Joe McCarthy when you need him? Because rest assured, if ol’ Joe were still around, he’d have that lanky bastard on the first plane back to Stalingrad…

So the series comes back to Music City for game six. And somewhere among the pomp and rhinestone circumstance of the annual Country Music Association Festival, there will be hockey. It all comes down to Sunday night, in a grand culmination of everything that makes the culture of Nashville and Nashville hockey great — Vince Gill, 70,000 of the loudest fans in the NHL, Carrie Underwood, duck calls, Brad Paisley, Gnash swinging from the rafters, the eternal whine of pedal steel guitars, drunk northern girls in cut-off shorts and cowboy boots, traffic… and catfish. There will be catfish.

Until Sunday, go Preds!