As the Pittsburgh Penguins were leaving Rexall Place last Wednesday after beating the Edmonton Oilers, Pens' forward Gary Roberts bumped into a trio of journalists, one of whom asked, "Where have you seen that before?"
Having just watched Crosby do little through two periods, only to take over in the third with three sizzling assists, Roberts knew exactly what the journalist was implying. Crosby's showing was Gretzky-like. Just when you think you've got him cornered, he slips away and dominates the show.
And now, just as Wayne Gretzky did four times in his career, Crosby has won the 2007 Lou Marsh award as Canada's top athlete, likely the first of many, and with good reason.
Of late, the award has gone to almost everyone but a hockey player. Kayakers have won it. Speed skaters, figure skaters, a wrestler, a golfer. Even auto racer Jacques Villeneuve has won it twice in the last 12 years.
The last NHLer to receive the Lou Marsh was Mario Lemieux in 1993. Why so long ago? Maybe it's because voters are reluctant to reward professional hockey players since they already have a boatload of trophies to win from their own league.
But Crosby has done so much in such a short period of time that his selection was undeniable. He not only won all those NHL awards last season, he lifted the Penguins into the Stanley Cup playoffs and has sufficiently whetted our appetite for Canada's hockey team at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
And now having played in every NHL arena, from Florida to Vancouver, it's clear to all that Crosby is something special, someone you can't ignore even if is having an off two periods.
As Roberts said after Crosby's three assists sunk the Oilers, "Just like Gretzky."