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Numbers Don't Tell the Crosby Story

Posted by Webster Washington on 6/5/2016 4:40:57 AM

There was a time when Sidney Crosby was "Sid the Kid," the flashy, goal-scoring force that put up the majority of the Pittsburgh Penguins' numbers. He's not that in this postseason. He's even more effective. Crosby has shown that his overall ability can make a balanced player who contributes much more than points. Now Sid has some kids around him who are much better because of his ability, savvy and leadership.

Sense and Sense of The Game

Crosby has not always been on the board with points in this postseason. But he has been on board by using all of his good sense at both ends of the ice to make points. There was no better demonstration of that than when he quickly devised a faceoff play that led to Wednesday's overtime win over San Jose. Crosby told young Conor Sheary to move from his normal position in the faceoff to a spot along the boards. Crosby said he'd win the draw to Kris Letang and Letang would pass to Sheary for a shot. It worked and, without scoring, Crosby again had a hand in making his team a winner.

This is the type of contribution that has made Crosby so valuable in these playoffs. Sure, he's scored; he has six goals and 17 points in 20 playoff contests. But he's contributed so much more. He's won most of his faceoffs. He's made rookies like Sheary and Patric Hornqvist better by discouraging them from passing up a shot to get it to him. And, through his work ethic, he's led Pittsburgh to a relentless drive to the title series.

'Complete Game'

"For the good of his team, he's playing a complete game," said Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawk who won the NHL scoring title this year. "It's not just offensive and just trying to pick up points...He's still an effective player offensively but it seems like it's not his main focus right now," Kane continued. "He just wants to win."

"For me right now, I think he's inspiring for our group," said Pens coach Mike Sullivan.

This is why the Pittsburgh Penguins have come so far and why Crosby is the most valuable player of his team.

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