There was ample criticism of both clubs as the post season approached as most rubbed their hands with glee as it became obvious that the Pittsburgh Penguins would face their state rivals; The notorious Philadelphia flyers. Two storied frachises with a long history both shared, fought over, gloated over, and verbally sparred over, would once again be granted the chance to have at it best of seven style.
The Penguins owner was a superstar who retired once after losing a playoff series to the flyers. SuperMario as he was known as possibly the greatest stickhandler ever begrudgingly passed the torch to Eric Lindros advising him to stay out of the box.
Lindros himself was a superstar with his own episodes of succes and failure, knew more than a little about hype and expectations as he faced as much as the Penguins modern era superstar Sydney Crosby does now.
The media annointed Lindros the next greatest thing before he was ready much the way they have programmed the public into believing that Sydney is greatest hockey player around. Could anyone possibly measure up to the absurd hype the media adamlantly insisted these players were worthy of?
Eric came close, he won the MVP but no cup and therefore little glory. Sydney has his cup rings but in earning them at such a young age the expectations due to some frothing at the mouth television announcers have crossed over into the obscene. They have falsely painted Crosby as the best player in the league, many suggesting he is the best to ever play the game.
Better than Mario, better than Gretzky, Howe, Orr, and all of those that came before. Those that played when defensemen among others were ALLOWED to concuss players regularly. Those players frequently still outscored any modern day players. Gretzky's 92 goals and Mario's 86 have to be witnessed to be believed. The media however is counting on the fact that many young viewers will not have seen much of these players and accept it at face value when told Crosby can walk through walls and leap tall buildings.
None of this is to bash Sydney Crosby, he is a very good hockey player, but he has been as oversold as Eric Lindros was and at least Eric fought his own battles consistently and perhaps sometimes gleefully. The truth is neither of these two are deserving of the turncoat mentatlity of the media when they didn't measure up to the manufactured expectatiions thrust upon them.
Crosby in particular has been held to standards he can never possibly meet. No matter what he does it will never be enough. He scored eight points in six playoff games, which is a fine result for anyone, and people asked if he was healthy even after his coach asserted he played better in the playoffs than during the season. This kind of irrational excuse making is a direct result of the media trying to deify a hockey player.
Like deciples praising the miracles of a prophet the media has tried to inspire the belief Crosby has magic like powers to overwhelm all opponents. I've got news folks, it's a real game, played with real competitive professionals and no one can win all the time.
More like rats deserting a sinking ship because Crosby's team got schooled by the flyers, rather than admit they were wrong, rather than give any credit to the Flyers, they will instead point to the exceptional sereis by Claude Giroux and his 14 points in six games, and claim that HE is the new Crosby and for the love of hockey let's hope he says "No I'm not".