Penguins Perspectives: Show a little faith, there's magic in the rink
Welcome to Penguins Perspectives, a weekly column by KDKA-TV Digital Producer Patrick Damp. Each Monday, Patrick will talk about the week that was, the week to come, what to watch for, and more.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – I was honestly a little worried about this week's Penguins Perspectives because how many times can you write the same column?
The team has no depth, the goaltending is a question mark, the general manager doesn't seem to have a direction, and it's all been written, spoken, and tweeted to death at this point.
However, as I sat in the upper bowl of Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse last Wednesday, watching Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band absolutely rock a sellout crowd, I had a thought.
When your best players are still your best players, greatness is entirely possible.
Bruce Springsteen is 73 years old and can still belt out the lyrics to 27 songs during a three-hour show and not miss many beats.
"Miami" Steve Van Zandt is 72 years old and still has enough energy and will to shred his guitar and run to Bruce's microphone to sing backup vocals and be part of all those inspiring talks Bruce has for the audience.
"The Mighty" Max Weinberg is 71 years old and he still sits behind the drum set on stage and provides the rhythm the E Street Band requires to keep a three-hour set moving.
Obviously, a contact sport like hockey in the National Hockey League is a tad different than touring the world as a musician, but the parallels can't be overlooked.
At 35, Sidney Crosby is still scoring at a point-per-game pace and playing at a level that keeps him in the conversation as one of the best players in the game.
At 36, Evgeni Malkin is doing something similar, and not to mention he is doing it just a year removed from major knee surgery.
Meanwhile, on the back end, Kris Letang provides a steady foundation on defense, consistently playing 30 or more minutes a night at 35 years old and two strokes later. He's also chipped in nearly 40 points for good measure.
Times certainly are changing, both in sports and in music, but the foundations continue to remain the same. Sure, maybe Crosby, Malkin, and Letang don't have the speed they once did and the young guns in Matthews, McDavid, MacKinnon, etc…are just about to take their place at the center of the hockey universe, as well they should, but it's not quite time.
When I heard the opening notes of "Born to Run" on Wednesday, I texted my cousin, who was generously giving us a ride to and from the show, "Hey, Born to Run is up, I'd say this is about it."
Five songs and 45 minutes later, I was walking out of the arena in Cleveland.
Bruce, Steve, and Max still have it.
While they may no longer have the services of Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, and a myriad of others, the foundation still remains.
They replaced those members with people who can pick up the songs and run with them, giving the E Street Band the life it needs to keep itself as one of the most in-demand acts that still tour the nation and the world.
Crosby, Malkin, and Letang still have it.
Sure, they no longer have the services of Chris Kunitz, Phil Kessel, and others, but they still have the talent to be among the league's best teams.
The glory days are still here, but "well, they'll pass you by in the wink of a young girl's eyes."
Sid, Geno, and Kris have just counted the band in for "Born To Run" now it's on ownership and management to decide if this is the last song or if they've got a few more on their setlist.
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