Trending Topics is a new column that looks at the week in hockey according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear internet instead?
Let me take you back to a time when people had a discussion about who the best hockey player in the world was.
A lot of people argued that it was Alex Ovechkin(notes). Lookit those point totals. He had 65 goals one time. Two Harts. Couple Rocket Richards. The best Russian sniper since Vasily Zaytsev. Dragged the Capitals to respectability and profitability pretty much singlehanded. Hit like a truck. Shot at Mach 5. All that stuff.
Or how about the time everyone on the planet was like "Whoa hey this Stamkos kid! Jeepers creepers! A little better than a goal a game. Scoring like crazy. He can get 50 in 50 I'm pretty sure. Book him for the Rocket Richard and the Hart and all that stuff. No stopping him.
Maybe it was just that Crosby was playing Toronto, the most popular, most watched and most covered hockey team on the planet, in his home rink. Maybe it was because he had two goals in that one, running his season total to 26 in 30 games. Maybe it was the Gretzkyesque run he was on, piling up 20 goals and 35 points in 17 games. Maybe it was that in that time the entire, poorly-constructed, wingless Penguins roster to a 14-2-1 record. Maybe it was that 11 of those Ws were in a row. Maybe it was that Pittsburgh jumped from ninth in the East when his scoring streak began to tops in the league.
Man, everyone sure is agog over that Pride of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia lately. The only time he doesn't score these days is during intermission. The only thing that's going wrong for him is that mustache, and really, who's going to tell him to stop? Penguins games are appointment television so everyone can write loving paeans to his majesty and undisputed spot as Hockey, nay, Sport's, Top Performer.
And certainly, he has been incredible even by the titanic standards to which we should hold the accomplishments of a player of Crosby's character, because, I mean, wow.
So why are people getting upset that this is happening? Caps fans are currently doing the online equivalent of leaning against a wall, arms folded, kicking at the dirt and saying, "Well jeez Ovechkin's good too. GOD." Case in point: the very excellent Japers' Rink wondered aloud during Wednesday's breezy two-goal effort why people were making a big deal out of Crosby all of a sudden when Ovechkin's scored 26 goals in 30 games 25 times throughout his career. That's a crazy and impressive stat for sure (and a misleading one), and sure, I get why the point is being made.
For years it's been "Crosby or Ovechkin?" Never both. They're the indelible and undisputed most-recognized stars in the league. And will be until they both retire. But grrrrr they have to hate each other and by extension everyone has to choose a side. That's what the Winter Classic commercial has led me to believe, at least. Stamkos, meanwhile, has faded back out of the conversation because he has two points in his last six games. Only 40 so far this year. What a stiff.
You know who's actually great? All those dudes. And a bunch more too. Just because one guy's getting all the press right this second doesn't make that any less true.
So Crosby's scoring by the boatload and Pittsburgh's winning. That's why he's getting the 50 in 50 questions, and the mountains of press coverage that comes with them, these days.
There's still 52 games left this year. It's really not that big a deal.
MEDIA GLEE OVER MARC CRAWFORD MELTDOWN
I wasn't watching the Dallas/Chicago game on Wednesday but Twitter blew up pretty quick over the Marc Crawford's rant about throwing a stick in overtime. (And yeah, missing the obvious penalty shot call was pretty bad.)
But make no mistake, that was Christmas two weeks early for everyone in that media scrum.Said KCEN's Chris Curtis immediately afterwards, "Marc Crawford just went nuts on the media against the refs!! Wow!"
"Marc Crawford was pissed," added ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers. "Just transcribed it...great stuff.."
Not surprisingly, the audio was up within minutes.
I've been in testy media scrums before and the general mood among reporters when a player or coach goes off is to look very serious just long enough for the person to get out of sight. Then the grins spring forth like snakes in a can.
No one on the planet loves when someone goes ballistic more than the media. Remember that whole Tortorella/Larry Brooks thing a couple years back? That might've been the best day of Brooksie's life. That's the kind of stuff that'll be replayed for years. Think anyone's ever gonna forget the "PLAYOFFS!?" rant? Nope. Never.
No hashtag joke-off this week, per se, but holy hell was that Don Cherry stuff the other day ever funny. Left-wing kooks came outta the wordwork to have a good ol' laugh at that one.
That's the kind of thing that isn't going to go away for a while. I can't wait till Coach's Corner (sadly not in 3D) on Saturday. I hope Ron MacLean runs the clip six times.
As willmcnair put it, "Thanks Don Cherry for incoherently rambling it like it is."
I've been calling people "pinko" all week. Great stuff.
PEARLS OF BIZ-DOM
BizNasty on the age-old debate, Red Lobster or Olive Garden: "there both terrible. But I would go olive garden for sure. Unless there's a taco bell near by. Then that of course."
If you've got something for Trending Topics, holla at Lambert on Twitter or via e-mail. He'll even credit you so you get a thousand followers in one day and you'll become the most popular person on the Internet! You can also visit his blog if you're so inclined.
- MARC CRAWFORD