Sidney Crosby is sometimes accused of whining, diving, and tampering with officials being given the benefit of the doubt by NHL officials. The fact of the matter is the 25-year-old Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia native is the NHL’s most prized asset and he gets treated as such. If he uses that to his advantage it frustrates the heck out of opposing fan bases, but it gets him and the Penguins points and in the end that is all that matters to him.

Crosby’s reputation as a manipulator may be well deserved, but it is his reputation as a softie that is unwarranted. Crosby is as strong on his skates as anyone else in the league, his talent is mesmerizing, and as much as it may hurt to admit this, he is also one tough son of a gun.

Need proof? Consider the absolute horrifying details of Crosby’s jaw injury. In a game against the New York Islanders on March 30th, a Brooks Orpik shot found its way right into Crosby’s mouth. It left him in a bloody heap and kept him out of the Penguin lineup for the rest of the regular season. Crosby returned in game 2 of their opening round series against the Isles, in which he scored twice. When the Pens take on the Boston Bruins on Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Crosby will be without the face shield he has worn since his return.

From The Globe & Mail‘s piece on Crosby’s injury.


In a scene that was replayed over and over in the immediate aftermath, Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik’s shot from the point deflected off another skater and hit an unaware Mr. Crosby flush in the face back on March 30. He crashed to the ice, spilling teeth and blood.

Roughly 10 of his teeth were affected, some irreparably, as the force from the puck would have pushed them through some of the supporting bone structure and severed the neurovascular pulp supply, which is a tooth’s connection to the nerves and blood supply in the mouth. Two teeth even went back so forcefully they damaged the inside of his mouth around his tongue.

The impact broke his jaw, which forced surgeons to cut an opening inside his mouth and use screws to fasten two small titanium plates to the bone to help it heal.

It’s an injury many NHL players consider the worst they have had.

Crosby is a tough nut to crack. One second he takes your breath away with his spellbinding ability, and the next he’s laying on the floor trying to massage a call out of the refs.

One thing is for certain though, 87 is an absolute gamer.