Sidney Crosby on playing goal in NHL: ‘I’d love to get the nod’

Netminder Marc-Andre Fleury blocks a shot by Sidney Crosby during a 2017 practice in Nashville. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a decade’s worth of evidence to suggest he’s one of the greatest skaters to ever take the ice, but it seems “The Kid” nearly embarked on a very different path to the big leagues.

Crosby discussed this potential alternate NHL universe on Tuesday, joining The Dan Patrick Show to recall his love for manning the cage as a youngster.

“I wanted to be a goalie pretty early on,” Crosby told Patrick, adding he was dissuaded from suiting up in net because it simply wasn’t as fun. “It’s true. As a kid you’re not, as a goalie, really that involved. Everyone’s kind of chasing the puck, it’s going everywhere… It was something I probably liked more as a young kid though, definitely, with all the gear and things like that.”

The two-time scoring champion apparently even lobbied for a shot at donning his pads for the Penguins.

“There was one time either early this year or last year, we had to call an emergency goalie,” Crosby said. “One of our goalies got hurt and I think Flower was sick… so we had somebody in the lineup ready to go in as the third. I told them if anything ever happened, I’d love to get the nod.

“I’d love to play one game in the NHL [as a goaltender]. We’ll see. There’s still some time left if it ever came down to it.”

It wouldn’t be No. 87’s first time as a netminder in Penguins colours. The reigning Conn Smythe-winner played goal for the Penguins office staff’s dek hockey team in 2015, and celebrated his first Stanley Cup win by manning the net for a roller hockey game with friends.

Given the body of work he’s put together traversing the rest of the rink, it isn’t much of a stretch to think Crosby could’ve made some magic in net. It seems his signature hyper-competitive edge wouldn’t be any less prominent, given the centreman’s answer regarding his ideal breakaway matchup:

“Maybe (Pavel) Datsyuk, just because I feel like he’s made so many goalies look bad,” Crosby said. “If I could somehow find a way to get my pad on it or stop him… He seems like one of the best shootout guys that there was, so on a breakaway he’d be pretty good.”

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