, Pascal Dupuis
, Maxime Talbot and a few Capitals players did their best impression of Jeff Reed, the Steelers kicker, at Heinz Field on Tuesday afternoon. However, instead of kicking the ol’ pigskin through the uprights, the players did an NHL version of field goals.
With a puck on the edge of their stick and placed at the base of a ramp, each player took turns snapping shots high into the stratosphere and between the two rising yellow poles.
The three Penguins and their two Capitals counterparts (David Steckel and Mike Knuble) competed in three friendly rounds of varying distances – from the future near blue line, red line and far blue line.
“That was a lot of fun,” Talbot said. “I felt like I was in Jeff Reed’s shoes for one day. It was not easy to do that. I do not have the strongest forearms, but I think it was a great event.”
“It’s not easy to do that,” Crosby said. “It’s nice to do something like that to spice things up like that. That’s probably something none of us will ever get to do again.”
In an unofficial tally of the scores, the players finished as follows: Talbot (0 for 5); Dupuis (1 for 5); Crosby (2 for 6); Knuble (1 for 4); and Steckel (2 for 4).
Knuble started the competition off by netting the first shot right down the middle, setting the tone for the event.
“The key to that was Mike Knuble putting one through on the first shot,” Steckel said. “I think the pressure was on because we didn’t want to look like fools out there.”
There were a few comical moments during the contest. One of Dupuis’ shots landed into the hockey goal set up a few yards away, and Crosby sent a shot that skipped on the grass and clanked off of a Steelers helmet that had been placed on the ground for aesthetic purposes.
Crosby put a great capper on the competition. The other four players all missed on their shots from the farthest distance on the field, the far blue line. Crosby, however, whipped his best shot and sent the puck just inside the left upright.
All that was missing was two referees to raise their arms under the goal post and signal that the shot was “good.”
“I think it could have been a lot longer day for me, but luckily I got one in there,” Crosby said. “If I hadn’t gotten one then I would have been there for a long time until I did.”
He certainly did. Jeff Reed would have been proud.
Maxime Talbot (left) and David Steckel (right) attempt to shoot the puck through the uprights