Despite arguably his best game of these 2014 playoffs last night, the monkey remains glued to Sidney Crosby’s back. Zero goals in his last 13 playoff games (dating back to last season). It was almost shook off multiple times throughout Game 2 against the New York Rangers, but King Henrik was up to the task as per usual.
As many have noted, the drought is the longest of the Hart Trophy candidate’s career. He has played over 295 minutes — or almost five full games — since he scored his last goal which came in Game 5 against the Ottawa Senators in last year’s conference semi-finals.
Here were Don Cherry’s thoughts on what may be up with the Penguins’ star on Coach’s Corner last Saturday.
Has Sid been unlucky? Is he gripping the stick a little too tight? Is he hurt as Cherry suggests? All valid questions when searching for the answer as to why the likely MVP of the league this year has six assists and a minus five rating through eight games thus far. That minus five puts Crosby and his linemate Chris Kunitz in the second last spot of all players left in the post-season behind only Minnesota’s Ryan Suter (-6).
Only the centre knows what exactly is going on with himself but he reiterated after Game 2’s 3-0 win that the goals aren’t weighing on his mind as much as others might think.
“You try to do those other things to try to help your team win,” Crosby told the National Post. “You know if you’re focused on scoring, you’ll start to get scored against a lot, too.”
Here’s my thing about it.
Hockey is a funny game. Anybody who’s watched the Penguins play in the first two rounds this year has seen Crosby creating (six assists) and also seen him around the net getting the quality chances he usually does (28 shots). The one thing — and most important of all — he hasn’t done is actually find the back of the net. It’s a problem but it happens to everyone, yes even the best players in the world. Sidney Crosby is human like the rest of us.
Every hockey player knows that the puck luck just isn’t there sometimes and that’s what Crosby is going through right now. The opportunities are there and frankly Penguins fans should be thrilled right now. Their best player has not scored a goal in eight games this post-season and they’re in the second round tied in a series. So what happens when Crosby does break out and get back to his normal self? He can’t be held down forever but the sooner Sid lights the lamp the sooner he can stop answering the same questions day after day after day and this issue can be put to rest.
Crosby and the Pens get right back on the horse tonight when he will get another chance to break the streak, this time at Madison Square Garden for Game 3 that goes at 7:30 PM. ET.