PITTSBURGH (AP) Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz stood shoulder to shoulder at center ice as midnight approached, crowd on its feet, Prince of Wales Trophy in hand. On the surface, it could have been a scene ripped from 2008 when the longtime Pittsburgh Penguin teammates earned their first crack at a championship together, the one that was supposed to be the launching pad for a dynasty. Not the cohesion it takes to survive the crucible of the most draining championship chase in professional team sports or the mental toughness (along with a dash of luck) needed to stay on top once you get there.
As he met with general manager Grant Armstrong, Nolan Patrick had just finished an injury-marred junior season. The 18-year-old missed the WHL playoffs and was limited to 33 games because of two separate injuries. He underwent a sports hernia surgery the offseason prior, a major impediment to his summer training. He never quite "caught up to the year," as Armstrong put it. "I don't think he really ever got himself into a situation where he was 100 percent," the Brandon Wheat Kings GM said in a phone interview last week with CSNPhilly.com. But none of that was about to crack Patrick's confidence. "When we had our exit meetings, he told me he was going to play in the NHL," Armstrong said. "I wished
There’s a wonderful moment in Peter Yates’s 1973 crime thriller picture, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, when the titular character, played by Robert Mitchum, is taken for a night out to the Boston Garden to watch the Bobby Orr/Phil Esposito-led Bruins play the Chicago Blackhawks. Coyle is loaded on cheep Garden beer, but he can’t stop marveling at Bobby Orr, a “kid” with his entire future in front of him. This, friends, is Boston’s version of Eden, the Gallery Gods edition.