Otherwise he has been, as ex-player and analyst Darren Elliot admiringly described Crosby to espn.com's Scott Burnside before this series, "the most gifted grinder in the game."
~ Bruce Arthur, National Post
Like Alan Robinson said,
"Maybe there was a bit of an edge to Crosby’s game because of the Alex Ovechkin factor during a seven-game series."I tend to agree with Alan, where was Crosby when Pens were facing elimination, the chance to miss playoffs? It was Gonchar and Malkin who had changed the momentum, not Crosby. Pens went with 4 or 5 decisive victories in a row to make playoffs possible when Crosby was injured. The Empty Netters even jokingly said "should we sit Crosby? The things were going real well without him."
There was a lot of talk that Malkin didn't show up in the first two games. As we know, Pens lost in both. And who showed up there? Who was poking pathetic rebounds like a crazy rabbit? Crosby, but the point is, his team lost, in both games! After that Pens won three in a row thanks to Malkin and the team, but Crosby was not that visible. Yes, he was there, but he disappeared for a while. He did score an important goal in game 7, but it was a freak game, it was already 2:0.
Crosby, even though he never kicked a dog, :-) is a very mean guy, at least competitively mean. I am not saying it's bad. I am just saying that for him playing against Ovechkin was the major factor, the main irritation, he can't stand Ovie, he can't stand the fact that he was robbed by Ovechkin of the Calder Trophy, he can't stand the fact that he is only the second best player, according to Bruce Boudreau and the hockey world. To me he is even the third best after Malkin, or maybe the fourth after Datsyuk.
So let's just make a scientific experiment to prove it, let's follow Crosby and compare him to Malkin from now on. Based on my theory Crosby should not be as visible as he was in the games vs Ovechkin.
MALKIN, EVGENI 1 G, 1 A, +1, 6 S, 3 A/B, 1 MS, 1 HT, 1 GV, 67 F%
CROSBY, SIDNEY 1 A, 2 S, 1 A/B, 1 MS, 1 GV, 55 F%
So far my theory works, Malkin was better in scoring, in faceoffs, in hits, in shots, in +/-. Basically Malkin was better than Crosby in every category.
To be continued.
G=Goals A=Assists P=Points +/-=Plus/Minus PN=Number of Penalties PIM=Penalty Minutes TOI=Time On Ice SHF=# of Shifts AVG=Average Time/Shift S=Shots on Goal A/B=Attempts Blocked MS=Missed Shots HT=Hits Given GV=Giveaways TK=Takeaways BS=Blocked Shots FW=Faceoffs Won FL=Faceoffs Lost F%=Faceoff Win Percentage PP=Power Play SH=Short Handed EV=Even Strength OT=Overtime TOT=Total
Update on Crosby's ego:
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 20, 2009:
It's entirely possible that Crosby has drawn a bit of inspiration from failing to make the Hart finalists cut because he, like any great athlete, has an ego that helps to fuel his competitive drive.
NHL.com, May 19,2009:
At times, it looked like Crosby was looking to pass more against the fast and aggressive Hurricanes defense, which is much more effective than the one deployed by the more run-and-gun Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh's opponent in the past round.
Sure, Canes won't allow Crosby to do what Caps defense did, staying next to the net and slamming or poking rebounds like a crazy rabbit. And with that Crosby will switch to what he is famous for, the secondary assists, maybe primary ones, from time to time.
post-gazette.com, May 19, 2009:
Who had the biggest impact in the Penguins’ victory in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final against Carolina?
Read more: "Post-Gazette NOW - Polls"
Wait a moment, where is Captain Crybaby? He is not even mentioned! I can't believe it! Post-Gazette has sold their soul to Satan? :-)
Canes Country, May 18, 2009:
Cole was hit hard by Matt Cooke in a tough knee-to-knee hit in the third. Cole was helped from the ice, but tried to make a return. He skated for 12 additional seconds and left the ice again.
Remember the outcry when Alex Ovechkin went knee to knee with Sergei Gonchar? We will see what is said about Matt Cooke's hit on Erik Cole.
Puck Daddy, May 19, 2009:
The bottom line is that if you're a Penguins fan who thought Ovechkin should have been suspended, then you should be a Penguins fan who thinks Cooke should be suspended.
Faceoff-Factor, Pens blog, May 19, 2009:
During Round Two, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin used his knee to hit Sergei Gonchar, forcing Gonchar to miss action. Ovechkin received a two minute penalty. No game misconduct. No disciplinary hearing. No fine. No suspension.
Following the hit, Cooke said, “If I did what he did, I wouldn’t be on the ice.”
Today, we will find out whether that statement is accurate.
I wonder what Brooks Orpig is saying? Do not hear anything, hello?
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