Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Canada's best ambassadors

There was a great double header on TSN tonight. First, Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns were in Toronto to take on the Raptors. That game was followed by Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in Edmonton to play the Oilers.

Nash and Crosby are both icons in their respective sports, and deservedly so. They both dominate play and, more importantly, they make their teammates better.

Nash - who has been taking some slack lately for saying he won't play in the Olympics even if Canada qualifies - didn't exactly put on a show tonight, but he certainly showed that he is a big reason that the Suns will again contend this year.

It's too bad that the Raptors, which actually look like a basketball team to watch, were missing their two biggies Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani, because if those two had been in the lineup, the Raptors would have made a better game of it.

As it was, a 45-point third quarter by the Suns was enough to put the Raptors down. Still, it was a great game, and it's always nice to see Nash playing in Canada.

Final score: Suns 136, Raptors 123.

The second half of the double-header had Sidney Crosby leading the Penguins on the team's first western Canada road trip since he entered the league three years ago.

In all these years, Crosby has never played hockey out west, except for an appearance at the Macs Midget tournament in Calgary. That's one reason there has been such a media circus in Edmonton for the past couple of days.

Crosby told media on Tuesday that trying to do too much was not a good strategy, and that he was going to just try and enjoy the game.

He couldn't have enjoyed the first couple of periods, because he didn't play so hot, and heading into the third, was spending more time on the bench than he's used to.

That did something, as Crosby assisted on three of Pittsburgh's four goals in the third period, and giving the Pens the win over the Oil. Talk about putting on a show.

Final score: Penguins 4, Oilers 2.

LUNCH: A tasty bowl of French Canadian pea soup

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