For Penguins center Sidney Crosby, reality arrived Tuesday when he was asked about being part of an NHL all-access television show that will debut in January.
The league on Monday announced plans for “NHL Revealed,” which will follow several star players from teams participating in a series of outdoor games. Among them is Crosby. The Penguins face the Chicago Blackhawks March 1 at Soldier Field.
So how will the all-access part of the production be handled?
“No clue. It’s all news to me,” Crosby said.
“Am I doing it?”
He was told that’s what the NHL announced.
“Oh, really,” Crosby said.
“I guess we’ll see when it comes.”
Crosby and the Penguins — as well as tonight’s opponent, the Washington Capitals — were part of HBO’s all-access “24/7” leading up to the 2011 outdoor Winter Classic, so Crosby is familiar with the concept. And even though the plans for “NHL Revealed” snuck up on him, he likes the idea.
“I think that’s something that everybody enjoys,” he said. “As a fan, you want to see that stuff.
“I know my friends and family, they love that stuff. They love getting a peek inside the [locker] room or seeing guys outside of their normal stuff, the bench stuff and in-game stuff. That’s good for everybody.”
A humbling night
Rookie forward Brian Gibbons has been a popular man since he scored the first goal Monday in the Penguins’ 3-1 win against Anaheim.
It was his first NHL goal on his first shot in his first game.
“My parents were here and my brother was here for the game. They came in from Boston,” Gibbons said. “I was able to get some food with them after and kind of share with them a little bit. Also a lot of texts and calls.”
Some of those were special.
“I got a lot of texts from old coaches that have helped me along the way,” he said. “It was cool to be able to thank them. Those are the people who helped get me here.
“I don’t always like getting attention like that, but there are some times [it’s OK], and that was pretty cool.”
Gibbons said growing up he never concocted a celebration for scoring in the NHL, and when he scored Monday he made no moves — no fist pump or leap — although he did smile as his teammates hugged him.
“I didn’t think about it,” he said.
Center Evgeni Malkin did not practice. He was at the arena but took a “maintenance day,” coach Dan Bylsma said. Malkin traveled with the club to Washington and is expected to play tonight. Rookie Zach Sill filled in on Malkin’s line at practice. … Bylsma said he expects to use the revamped line combinations he put together before Monday’s game, at least at the outset. “We’re on the road so the matchup is going to be a little different … so there will be some adjustment throughout the game,” he said. … Mike Green, who leads Washington’s defensemen with 11 points (all assists) practiced for the first time since he got a lower-body contusion. He is eligible to come off injured reserve and could return tonight after missing two games. … The USA Hockey Sled Classic, featuring 14 sled hockey teams affiliated with NHL franchises — including the Mighty Penguins — will be Thursday-Saturday at Harmarville Bladerunners and the RMU Island Sports Center, with three divisional finals beginning at 11:45 a.m. Sunday at Consol Energy Center. All games are free. The U.S. Paralympic men’s team, which will compete next year in Sochi, will meet fans and sign autographs from 5-7 p.m. Saturday at RMU Island Sports Center.
Shelly Anderson: email@example.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.