Puck Daddy - NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins are visiting the Washington Capitals this afternoon at Verizon Center, which of course means another round of Caps fans vs. Sidney Crosby. The animosity was amplified after the last game between the teams, when Crosby and Washington star Alexander Ovechkin had a physical altercation on the ice and that was followed up with 48 hours of back and forth in the media. Crosby in the Post-Gazette:

"He taunts and does those things," Crosby said yesterday. "I don't think that's the way to play. I'm all for playing hard. I think he's a great player. He plays hard. There's no doubt he's a tough guy to play against. But he doesn't need to take runs. ... He went after [teammate Evgeni Malkin's] head probably three shifts before he went after me. He's hitting to hurt."

Whether or not you believe that's "crying" or "whining" is likely tied to how you feel about Crosby. For Capitals fans, it became fuel for the comedic fire, as they came equipped to today's game with everything from pacifiers to jokes about Crosby's fighting technique that they held up against the glass. Photographic evidence after the jump.

(Oh, and Crosby just scored to make it 1-0 early in the first, before Alexander Semin tied it. Motivation's a hell of a thing.)

The Crosby-as-diver motif was well-represented at the game, with this large sign on the glass and more than one "Crosby Diving School" T-shirts sported by fans.

"Hit'em in the Valabiks!" For all the diving and baby iconography, it's good to see a fan mining the depths for some Crosby comedy.

Any sign that mocks with an effective rhyming scheme is truly worthy of attention. Although we hear Sidney prefers Aloe.

Keeping with the tissue motif, this gentleman actually replaced the "Reebok" on the back of the T-shirt with "Kleenex."

Technically correct, we suppose. Again, in case we weren't clear earlier, there were a few signs that referenced Crosby as a crying child.

Case and point. These photocopies were being handed out by fans to other fans in the 100 level. Hey, it beats a Thunderstick.

Uh, wow. Honestly, if Crosby was as flexible with his linemates as he is in aerobics, Satan wouldn't be in the AHL right now.

Finally, Malkin and Crosby have apparently visited a local Sears for a portrait. We don't see the resemblance.

Then there was the baby in the Crosby jersey and the pacifiers and the "great divers in history" and even a few signs that took time away from Crosby-bashing to target Don Cherry for his comments about Ovechkin and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

But overall, it was the Sidney Crosby Show for Capitals fans exercising their freedom of expression. The standings tell us that a Capitals/Penguins first-rounder is a distinct possibility. If you can think of a bigger potential first-round showdown in the NHL or NBA this spring, we'd like to see it.

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