PITTSBURGH – Sidney Crosby’s intransigence stays intact for 15 years in Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan sees it every day

Every exercise in practice, no matter how routine. Every shift during a game, no matter how high the score, the player who has helped define his team, his adopted country and his sport for a generation is his craft as well as committed as he was as a child in Canada when he fired puck after puck into the dryer in his parents’ basement in Cole Harbor, Nova, Scotia

Sullivan has spent the past more than five years marveling behind the bank He’s grateful that the player who gave him “nightmares” when Sullivan trained elsewhere is now sitting in front of him on the bench, setting a standard that many emulate but few achieve

Crosby will break another milestone on Saturday night if he becomes the first penguin to be killed in Jan.000 regular season games plays

More than co-owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux More than the timeless Jaromir Jagr More than long-time teammate Evgeni Malkin or one of the hundreds of other players who have walked around town in the past 53 years

Fifteen games in his 16th Season, Crosby remains a force on both ends of the ice in one shift, redirecting a shot from teammate Kasperi Kapanen – as he did to give the penguins a head start they wouldn’t give up against the New York Islanders on Thursday night – In the next, he tests like a newbie trying to secure a place on the squad No player whose place in the Hall of Fame is already insured by the time they choose to retire

“He just has an insatiable appetite for being the best and he wants to be the best, and he’s willing to take the time and sacrifice to try to be the best,” said Sullivan on Friday

“He’s not ready to give up on the best player in the game attribute or who he’s had here for over a decade,” said Sullivan. “He’s an extremely competitive guy. There are a lot of people who want to win but there aren’t a lot of people who want to do what it takes to win There are many people who want to be the best but don’t want to do what it takes ”

Not Crosby Every summer is devoted to working on an aspect of his game that he lacks.Every game is an opportunity to learn.Every moment in the locker room, newcomers to a star-studded squad can feel comfortable, look after younger teammates or lead by example It’s been pretty much since he arrived in 2005 and was anointed to rubble as a savior for a franchise before ever jumping over the boards for his first shift

Still, he has rarely treated his status as a burden, if at all, believing it will simply hold up his end of the bargain.When asked if any of his first 999 games stand up, Crosby points as a rookie to an otherwise meaningless home final at the Civic Arena Then, at 18 years old, he chased 100 points The penguins, still under reconstruction, were in last place in the Atlantic Division. However, the atmosphere in the arena that night felt like there was far more at stake

He amassed three assists to hit the mark of the century. Pittsburgh won his 22nd and the last game of a largely unforgettable season

Yet they did so, in part as a token of respect for Crosby for his determined efforts to reconnect the penguins and a fan base the team almost lost shortly before his arrival

Instead, Pittsburgh has grown into one of the league’s marquee organizations – one that saw Crosby accept the Stanley Cup three times from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and one that led Crosby through the darkest period of his career

A decade ago, Crosby was at a crossroads when he caught a blindside hit from David Steckel of Washington during the Winter Classic at Heinz Field on New Years Day 2011.The concussion and its lingering effects limited him to only for the next 18 months 22 games For a stretch, every step forward was accompanied by a step back. The idea that Crosby would play regularly again – let alone 1000 games reached – seemed unlikely at best

Despite the constant setbacks, Crosby remained committed to both the short and long game

“I think when you find yourself in a situation like this, try to work in small steps and just get back out there and play,” he said, “But there are bigger goals you have and it’s obvious that you have to play for a long time Trying to visualize this will motivate you and remind you of what you are trying to do””

Make this chapter in his hockey life just that, a chapter and not the end of the story.The collision with Steckel came in Crosby’s 411 regular season game Since then he has played 588 and won a scoring title, a goal title, an MVP and two cups

As unlikely as it seemed a decade ago that he would hit 1000 would come apart from one disaster that he could play into the late 30s and maybe beyond His current contract runs until 2025 This summer he will be 38 years old Crosby smiled when asked if he would follow his steps Willing to follow former teammate Matt Cullen, who at 42 years old was the oldest player in the league in his final 2018/19 season, whether he will ever achieve grandfather status like Cullen remains to be seen

Don’t just play, keep doing the things – both small and small – that have been the hallmark of a career marked by a mixture of success, humility and a seemingly unmatched resilience

“You don’t just flip a switch and create the legacy he made,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think he’s done I think he has a lot of hockey left to build on his resume”

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Sidney Crosby

World News – CA – Sidney Crosby is hungry as always when the 1000’s NHL game arrives

Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/7652574/sidney-crosby-1000th-game/