Sidney Crosby is supposed to be the best player in hockey and therefore his team is supposed to act as such. But we saw so little out of Crosby in the Pittsburgh Penguins series against the Boston Bruins that it’s hard to believe he’s the leader everyone says he is. Now, a single series does not define a career but Crosby’s career up to this point shouldn’t have led to what we saw in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Crosby was a ghost the entire series and was only being mentioned when he was doing something moronic like bumping into Tuukka Rask or trying to start something with the much taller Zdeno Chara. Which, by the way Sidney, if the guy you’re trying to fight has to bend down to get into your face, pick a smaller guy to try and fight.
What the Bruins did was they tricked the Penguins into thinking they had to play tough to beat them and that started with infecting Crosby with this poison notion first. Once Boston was inside of Crosby’s head it wasn’t long before guys like Evgeni Malkin and Matt Cooke were channeling their inner tough guy and trying to match the Bruins in the brute force category.
Word to the wise, if you’re a smaller and quicker team than the Bruins, don’t try to stop and fight — just skate past and score. But the Pens failed to do that and it all began with Crosby. Now everyone in Pittsburgh deserves a share of this blame as everyone but Tomas Vokoun failed to do their job like they’re supposed to.
If you’re the superstar on your team, you step up on big spots like the Eastern Conference Finals. You lead your team and you fix problems when they occur. What happened in Pittsburgh was Sidney Crosby became a problem and he failed to even search for a solution.
Crosby is supposed to be the leader on this team and he’s supposed to set the tone. So don’t act surprised when Crosby sets a tone of misplaced and overblown angst and the Bruins blast the Pens out of the water. This is without a doubt one of the more earth shattering upsets but some of the sting was taken away by the fact we watched this ship burn for four games and saw hardly ay remnants of the team the Pens were during the season.
It’s unfair to solely blame Crosby for the way things turned out but his hands are not clean here. He set the wrong tone from the start and allowed the Bruins to waltz inside his head with ease. That had a trickle down effect to the rest of the team which derailed them right away and never gave them a chance. So while Crosby isn’t the only one to blame, to say he wasn’t the catalyst for this implosion by the Penguins would be a lie.