Monday, 5 May 2014

Can We Give It A Rest?

It finally happened, so this should keep everyone quiet for at least a game. Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the playoffs, snapping the 13-game goalless stretch he was in, and helping the Penguins to the 2-0 victory and the 2-1 series lead. It shocks me, though, that people are freaking out about Crosby's lack of goals when he's still setting them up. People in Pittsburgh even booed him! So now that he's scored, let's give it a rest, shall we?

Here is that "historic" goal. Enjoy!
Let's be honest when we say that Crosby had been struggling to find the back of the net. I'll admit it. You expect the greatest player, arguably, in the game today to be able to find the back of the net with a little more frequency, but cold streaks happen. That's a fact.

Here's the thing: Wayne Gretzky also went through these streaks. In 1984, Wayne had 13 goals in 19 playoff games in hoisting the Stanley Cup. In 1985, Wayne scored 17 times in 18 games in leading the Oilers to the Stanley Cup. However, in 1987, Gretzky scored a mere five times in 21 playoff games as the Oilers lifted the Stanley Cup again. And in 1988, the last time Gretzky would win a Stanley Cup with the Oilers, he added another twelve goals in 19 games.

One of those seasons doesn't quite equal the others, does it?

The fact that Gretzky scored just five times in 21 games shows that the best scorer in the history doesn't actually have to fill the net himself. The leading goal-scorer on the Oilers that post-season? Jari Kurri with 15. He was followed by Glenn Anderson's 14 goals and Mark Messier's 12 goals. Those were the only three players who broke the double-digit mark in goals for the Oilers that post-season!

And yet here we are talking about how Crosby has his one goal, scored tonight, and just six assists. Granted, he's down in the scoring race, but he's tied for eighth in assists. If he's still setting goals up, I don't understand the outrage over his lack of scoring as he battles through a cold streak.

Hey, they happen. Sometimes, players are "snake-bitten" or are "squeezing the stick too tight" or whatever other cliché you wanna throw around. But this is Sidney Crosby we're talking about. The same guy who won the Art Ross Trophy by a large margin this season. The same guy who won the Art Ross Trophy in 2007. The same guy who is nominated for the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award this year as the league's best player. The same guy who won the Hart Trophy in 2007. The same guy who won the Maurice Richard Trophy in 2010. The same guy who was the leading scorer at the 2006 World Championships.

In other words, Crosby knows how to score.

So can we give this outrage over his lack of scoring through the last thirteen playoff games a rest? Sure, it was a long time for a player considered to be the game's best, but teams key on him in the playoffs. He won't be the last player who goes through a scoring drought in the playoffs.

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins on their second-straight shutout of the New York Rangers in taking a 2-1 series lead. Marc-Andre Fleury played well tonight, and got some key saves from the goalposts. You have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good, and Fleury was both in the last 120 minutes of play.

If you're Sidney Crosby, though, you just keep shooting the puck.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

No comments: