Sidney Crosby

Crosby plays goal in Pittsburgh ball hockey game, pitches shutout, sets Internet ablaze


Amidst rumors of playing in Switzerland and/or Russia, Sidney Crosby flipped the script on Friday by appearing in a ball hockey game…in Ohio Township.

Where he played in goal.

And recorded a 4-0 shutout.

For more on this story (that’s been picked up here and here and here and here and here and yes, right here at PHT), here’s Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Stories surfaced on Twitter and Facebook late Friday and early Saturday that Crosby participated in a dek hockey game Friday at Dek Star, a rink in Ohio Township next to Interstate 279. Photos on Twitter showed Crosby dressed in goaltender gear. After an informal practice Monday at Southpointe, Crosby confirmed he moonlighted between the pipes.

“My buddy plays in the league there. I talked to him about playing,” Crosby said. “I played a lot of goalie in street hockey growing up and stuff. Just asked if he needed a goalie. He said sure and I came out. It was cool.”

Due to his equipment, the presence of hockey’s most recognizable figure was not known by those at the rink until late in the contest.

“I had all the [goaltending] gear on,” Crosby said. “I was talking to the ref once toward the end of the game and I think he recognized me.”

“My referee walked over just to kind of say, ‘Hey, you’re not the normal goalie. It’s about time they get a goalie.’ ” said Chris Evans, general manager of Dek Star. “Instead, he looked at him and he was like, ‘Holy [cow] that’s Sidney Crosby.’ “

I’m not all that familiar with the term “dek hockey” as us Canadians usually refer to it as floor hockey, or ball hockey, or street hockey. We also sometimes call napkins “serviettes,” if you’re curious.

Anyway, Crosby reportedly notched his shutout against a team called Flyers Suck (seriously, Puck Daddy has it) and, afterward, answered the obligatory question about fear of injury.

“It’s a hockey ball and I have ice hockey gear on. I’m not too worried about it,” he said. “I guess there’s always a chance. I wouldn’t take that risk if I thought it was a big one.”

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.