PITTSBURGH - His first NHL goal didn't leave him in awe. Neither did winning his first scoring title or MVP award, even if The Kid accomplished all of it while still a teenager.
So being the youngest team captain in Stanley Cup finals history isn't about to get Sidney Crosby too worked up.
It has taken him only 3 seasons to transform the Penguins from the NHL's second-worst team into one of its best, so Crosby is understandably calm and confident as Pittsburgh prepares for the Cup final against the Detroit Red Wings which begins Saturday.
"We're keeping it as normal as possible, the same way we've approached every series, and that's making sure we worry about ourselves," Crosby said. "I think our game is our focus."
"He's been a great leader, he's been a great captain," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "Sidney is our leader and the players follow."
The NHL has lucked into perhaps its best possible matchup for the final, Crosby and the young Penguins vs. the tradition-filled Red Wings, who are trying to win their fourth Cup since 1997.
It's a rising new power against an established old one - Detroit has had 8 consecutive seasons with 100 or more points - in a series in which there should be plenty of offense but also excellent defense and goaltending.
Still, no NHL team of recent vintage has gone into the finals with so many of its key players so young: Crosby (20), forwards Jordan Staal (19) and Evgeni Malkin (21) and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (23) are 23 or younger.
Which creates an interesting contrast with the Red Wings, who have 14 players 30 or older, including defensemen Nicklas Lidstorm (35) and Chris Chelios (46) and goalie Chris Osgood (35). *