It’s been an interesting season for Sidney Crosby. He’s not leading his team in points and he’s been snake bitten for a good portion of the season goal scoring wise. Right when the games matter most though, he’s turning his game up to another level, just like he does each time the Pittsburgh Penguins enter the playoffs. Here’s a look at what he’s been doing as the Penguins make their push to defend their Stanley Cup title once again.
Sidney Crosby Heating Up Now For Pittsburgh Penguins
His scoring frenzy
Sidney Crosby has scored goals in his last five games and some of them have been the best of his career. He batted a puck to himself against the Montreal Canadiens and batted it into the net past Carey Price for what arguably could be the goal of the year:
That was to one of the best defensive forwards in the league and a prime candidate to win the Selke Trophy this year. He then pulled off another acrobatic goal last night against the New Jersey Devils when he batted the puck into the net after the puck hit the post:
The hand-eye coordination Crosby has is one of the best in the league and all three of these goals happened within two weeks. He’s up to 28 goals now after having 44 last year and he has 85 points. He finished with 89 points last year and if he hits 90 points, it would be the first time he got there since 2013-2014. That season, he led the league with 104 points. Before this goal-scoring surge, Crosby didn’t record a goal in nine of his previous 13 games. With two more goals, he would hit the 30 goal mark for the third consecutive season.
His play in all three zones
It’s not just been his goal-scoring lately, but his play away from the puck and setting up scoring chances for his linemates. Crosby isn’t known for being an outstanding two-way player but he’s been very underrated in that category for a long time. He won’t ever get Patrice Bergeron level love for that award because he’s just not that kind of player. But, he and his line especially did a great job last night in their own zone and forechecking.
Crosby seemed like a man on a mission last night and has been for these last five to ten games. His line has been buzzing each game, even against the Red Wings on Tuesday when the team overall looked bad, but he was the bright spot. He was the only player to create scoring chances for the team and got a goal off a two-on-one not even a minute into the game.
Going back to last night though, he took it to another level. Crosby’s forechecking was evident throughout the game and at one point, he played for almost the first two minutes of the first period. That almost never happens but in such a big game when crucial points are on the line, you have to throw your best players out there. He was relentless in hunting down loose pucks and creating chances for his linemates Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel all game long.
Even though he’s been playing great hockey lately, last night’s game showed how he can just take a game over with his play and get the Penguins two massive points in the standings. When the Penguins need him most, especially in a playoff push like this, he always brings out his best hockey. If this continues into the playoffs, the Penguins will again be a very tough out for any team.
NEWARK, NJ – FEBRUARY 3: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates during an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on February 3, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)