Sidney Crosby is the unquestioned Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Stanley Cup Winner, MVP, Art Ross Winner, Gold Medals, etc. etc. etc.
Sidney Crosby is also potentially the Pens biggest coachable problem since good ol’ Double J donned his better-be-retired #68.
NOW, don’t get me wrong, Sid is nowhere NEAR the pouting selfish version of Jagr we saw be traded to the Caps for…….for…….shit, who was it again?? Ross Lupi….Kris Beech? Hey didn’t he screw Sonni Abata from KDKA fame. At least he found one five hole he could navigate while in town.
I digress, there has just not been the same version of Crosby since the fateful Winter Classic Concussion against the Caps at Heinz Field. Sure there have been stretches of dominance and yes he has racked up the points too. But he is a different player. He prefers the point on the power play, this is a huge NO as that should be given to Malkin who should be fed for bombs all day. The Pens Power Play was hotter than hell to start the season…..where was Sid? down low, or on the half wall either picking up the trash or sending a saucer pass to the high slot for 71 to kill. Remember the goal in the 8-3 rout of jersey where Corey Schneider almost had his mask caved in from Malkin? Sid can’t shoot that hard from that far on a consistent basis.
Crosby has been know to make far to many cute passes at the wrong time, in watching the first 2 games after the All Star Break, the first game without Sid and Malkin, the Pens played a hard, straight forward game and got puck down low and on net, heck, they even scored 2 power play goals. The next night with Crosby back in, there was so many open shots being deferred to Sid out of respect/fear that it was aggravating to watch. And instead of shooting, Crosby, more often than not, would over pass.
Playoff time has become floats-ville for Sid, post-concussion as well. Not one series illustrates this more than the sweep by the Bruins. Crosby was reluctant to go to the front of the net. And when he did he was abused enough to the point he stopped going there again. This found to be true in the series loss to the Rags last spring. I fear another playoff ghost ride for 87, and the fan base will be a tad more vocal in their displeasure.
Another layer to the Crosby factor is the tales (whether credible or not) of not wanting certain line mates to play on his line. The latest seems to be Hornqvist, which boggles my mind. He is the exact type of player the creates room for Sid. (Remember when Chris Kunitz used to do that?) I’ll be real honest here. coaches coach, players play period.
Now I know I probably touched a nerve or 10 in comparing Crosby to Jagr back at the beginning (10….more like 1….thanks for reading Alex!) but it’s not so much that I think Crosby would ever turn heel and piss off the fans, I can very easily see the Yinzers starting to Yinz and the gripes grow louder to where they cannot be ignored. I seriously hope not, because despite what things I see wrong, Crosby is a once in a generational talent. Perhaps the problem is, there has yet to be a coach come to town to give #87 a dose of ‘shut the F up and play’ and this could be the cure for what plagues the Pens. Before what was the promise of a potential dynasty slips away like a blind backhanded pass into the slot