Sidney Crosby(notes) grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan and is a Canadian hockey hero after the Winter Games, so his facing the Habs in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time is a significant moment for the player and his fans in the city.
As the Canadian Press reported, Crosby was surrounded by a crowd outside his Montreal hotel Tuesday morning.
Tuesday night is Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Canadiens and the Pittsburgh Penguins with the action shifting to Bell Centre.
This being the playoffs, and this being Montreal, even Crosby Worship takes a back seat to the Habs challenging for the Stanley Cup. Jump to the end of the CP's story, and you find this stunner:
A restaurant on St-Denis Street has laid out a white No. 87 Crosby jersey over a red carpet on the sidewalk, so that patrons can stomp over it.
Thanks for the Olympic gold, Penguin boy. Now lay down for the locals.
This is, of course, just the sort of thing that motivates Sid; and he's shown time and time again that he feeds off adversity and negative vibes from foes (ask Mike Richards(notes) about it). Eric Adelson, a great features writer and a new addition to the Yahoo! Sports army, had a solid piece on Sidney Tuesday that concentrated on his serious-as-a-heart-attack focus:
During a recent press scrum, Matt Cooke(notes) thrust the knob of his stick toward Crosby's face, as if he was joining the interview session with his own mock microphone and wanted a quote. Crosby grabbed the stick, made eye contact with his teammate, smiled slightly, and pushed the stick away. He didn't even interrupt his answer. Crosby humored his teammate without enabling him. It was measured and efficient -- just like everything Crosby does on the ice. Is that too corporate, too polished? Or is it a young man who doesn't like to waste time better spent on his job?
Probably a guy who isn't going to give Montreal fans wiping their feet on his jersey a second thought.