Game Day: Sidney Crosby is a terrorist
We're about five hours away from The Big Game.
Mind you, since the Leafs remain 9 points out of a playoff spot, every game is big. But this one is super-sized. It's gigantic. It has its own area code. It beeps in reverse.
Pittsburgh, riding a 10-game winning streak, is perched atop the East with 40 points. Yes, they may have the most ridiculous logo in the NHL. But make no mistake: These Penguins are now soaring like eagles.
And why is this team annihilating the opposition? Simple. It's because Sidney Crosby is a terrorist. He is now blowing stuff up around the net. He is attacking goalies with his dirty-bomb of a shot. He is terrorizing defencemen with his enriched-plutonium speed and his improvised-explosive playmaking.
Now look at the various threat levels in this advisory system. But when reading the chart, replace the word "Terrorist" with the words "Sidney Crosby Scoring."
For example, the only time we are safely positioned at "LOW: Low Risk of Sidney Crosby Scoring Attacks" is when it's 4 a.m. and he's asleep in his Batman pajamas.
During breakfast, the threat level moves to GUARDED: General Risk of Sidney Crosby Scoring Attacks. You never know, right? He may suddenly slam down his bowl of Frosted Flakes and decide to score on you.
By afternoon, on game days, we creep up to ELEVATED: Signifcant Risk of Sidney Crosby Scoring Attacks. He is in the rink. He is stroking the lapels of his expensive Italian suit. He is grinning and plotting. He is fantasizing about scoring on you.
Then just before the puck drops, holy hell, run for cover! The threat level has now switched to HIGH: High Risk of Sidney Crosby Scoring Attacks! He's not blinking normally! He's banging his stick on the ice! He's so, so ready to score on you!
Having to face a HIGH alert is frightening enough. Unfortunately for the Leafs, we are now at SEVERE: Severe Risk of Sidney Crosby Scoring Attacks.
Crosby has 24 goals and 24 assists this season. He has racked up points in 16 straight games, including 18 goals. And if all of this wasn't sufficiently horrifying, take a look at his career totals against our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs:
Or to translate these numbers into a picture:
So, please, gather all of your superstitious objects. Put on your magical amulets and must-win underwear. Keep your lucky pet on the couch this evening. Because the Leafs will need every bit of good karma we can direct into the Consol Energy Center.
As for containing the terrorist, well, the best advice comes from Sidney Crosby himself.
"If you were a rival team's coach," asked a reader of AskMen.com three years ago, "How would you try to stop Sidney Crosby?"
Sid the Kid's answer: "For any player, it's tough when they come at you physically and take space away. If you give any good player time, they're going to try to take advantage of that time. I would say for a team to be physical is the best way."
You know who plays physical and takes away space? Colby Armstrong. You know what the Leafs' record is with Armstrong in the line-up? It's 7-2-1. You know who understands Sidney Crosby more than any other player in the visitor's dressing room? Colby Armstrong.
Call me crazy but I have a good feeling about tonight. The Leafs play well in Pittsburgh. The Pens' winning streak has to end at some point, right? Right? So if our magnificent Leaf bastards arrive with the determination and grit and never-say-die attitude we've witnessed over the past two games, there should be no threat they can't overcome.
UPDATE: 3:30 P.M.: Okay, maybe we have to remove the LOW threat level completely. This picture just arrived in my inbox from a source who must remain anonymous:
And from a hockey bed to a non-hockey bed...
It's December 8, 2010. Hard to believe but John Lennon was killed 30 years ago today. Since Colby Armstrong wears No. 9, I leave you with this video of a great song from a great man:
MAIN PHOTO: DON HEUPEL/ASSOCIATED PRESS