As a goaltender, trying to defend against Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is a daunting task: He has sonar as a passer, he goes to the net hard and can uncork a heck of a shot on goal from any angle.
That's what it's like to face Sidney Crosby as a goaltender; what about when Sidney Crosby is the goaltender?
A group of dek hockey players from Pittsburgh experienced that last Friday, when Crosby made an unannounced and anonymous appearance at Dek Star for a rec league ball hockey game.
One of the players that faced Sid the Goalie – from a team named “Flyers Suck,” no less – reached out to Puck Daddy with his impressions of the game.
Here’s Jason McGuirk with some random observations on staring down what he’d later find out was Sidney Crosby moonlighting as a ball hockey goalie:
"Crosby was pretty quiet the entire time. We usually talk to the opposing goalie like just joking around during gameplay or between whistles. I did notice it was kinda weird how he wasn't really responding back, just a couple of chuckles at jokes about the game.
"Also, the surface was extremely slick. It was like 30 degrees and the game was at night. The surface of that dek rink basically turns to ice. I really only remember him actually saying words to check if people were alright when falling down on the slick surface, "Are you ok?" etc. Other than that, pretty much silence.
"He did play the ball a lot behind the net and stuff like that. I think that's because he was bored because his team was dominating, ha ha. Legitimately, we may have had 1 or 2 shots.
"When we switched sides at the end of each period, our goalie talked to him as they passed each other at the center line. But he didn't say anything just smiled and obviously never removed his mask.
"Another funny observation our goalie made was during warmups. He says, "That goalie has huge equipment and he's actually butterflying … we're in trouble." Crosby had ice hockey goalie gear. Bear in mind this is a 26 and over feet hockey league. We don't see too much of that.
"Additionally, one of our players suffered a mild concussion when attempting a shot on goal – oh the irony. He fell as he followed through and was not wearing a helmet.
"But seriously, it was totally unbelievable, the best player in the world playing dek hockey on a cold Friday night in December in a random rink. Such a good story.
"Having said that, from all of us from team Flyers Suck, we want a rematch!"
What say you, Sidney Crosby? Do you dare venture into the crease against Flyers Suck now that they know your secret identity?
(And is Marc-Andre Fleury available to play center for them? Seems like they could use the offense.)