Sidney Crosby's four-point night in his return to NHL action was the stuff of hockey fables, which is code for "an event easily drenched in shrill, saccharine cliché that makes the climax of a Disney children's sports film look cynical by comparison."
So in a way, Pierre McGuire was both the most appropriate and the most unfortunate announcer to serve as a color commentator for Crosby's big night; standing between the benches for VERSUS, serving up his usual platter of mistimed trivia and verbal fellation of star players.
McGuire has fawned over the Pittsburgh Penguins captain before, so one anticipated it would happen again if Crosby managed to accomplish anything of significance during his return against the New York Islanders. But a four-point night transformed McGuire into a close-talking hybrid of Paula Abdul and Jeff Craig of "Sixty Second Preview."
Here are 11 of Pierre McGuire's ickiest/weirdest/oddest actual lines about Sidney Crosby's comeback on VERSUS Monday night, taken out of context and best read in his distinctive voice:
11. "How about that strength down low? Wow."
10. "When he played for Team Canada at World Juniors as a 16 year old in Helsinki Finland where it's dark 23 out of 24 hours, he was carrying the stick bag and it was minus 40 degrees."
9. "The only thing he's havin' a tough time doin'? Growin' a mustache."
8. "Everybody in the League better shake their head! This guy's for real and this team's for real!"
7. "He does it sooo many different ways."
6. "I think if you were to go on a pro-rated basis, he's on pace for 240 points."
5. "He's Peter Forsberg, for those who remember the great Peter Forsberg, Sidney Crosby's Peter Forsberg with more pure finishing ability than Peter Forsberg had."
4. "You talk about the all-around superstar that Sidney Crosby is, it's been a Crosby-palooza tonight."
3. "The pictures don't lie. So just digest the pictures and the artistry."
2. "Don't lose the smile keep havin' fun Sid."
And the No. 1 ickiest Pierre McGuire line about Sidney Crosby's comeback with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night …
1. "They wanna see a little 87 magic. They got a little taste, they want a little more."