CROSBY DUSTS OFF OLD-TIME MAGIC
Penguins superstar the talk of the town after sensational OT winner against Oilers
It had nothing to do with the fact they’re in hockey-crazed Canada.
Or that National Hockey League highlights are just a click away.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, themselves, wanted to relive Sidney Crosby’s most recent jaw-dropping, how-the-heck-does-he-dothat performance and showed the team the footage from Tuesday’s 6-5 overtime stunner over the Edmonton Oilers.
The video session — which, by the way, is worth watching and dissecting as a teaching tool for any team or player at any level — was just the latest example of the things No. 87 is capable of doing.
“It just shows why he’s the best in the world,” said linemate Jake Guentzel, the Penguins dressing room still buzzing less than 24 hours later. “I mean, just the way he separates the D, and his stickhandling ability is so unique. It’s special to see, for sure. And to be able to put it home after that move? “Unbelievable.”
That’s one word to describe Crosby’s ability which, even after 871 regular-season games, 160 post-season clashes and three Stanley Cups, still has the capability of making grown men giddy.
“Am I surprised he’s able to score that goal? No,” said Jack Johnson, who was on the ice during the three-on-three action and had a front-row seat for Crosby’s latest magic act.
“But seeing him do those things never gets old, you know what I mean? It’s special every time.”
Special, yes. Also, nerve-racking.
Because, as Johnson explains, any time Crosby has the puck, there’s pressure for teammates to get open, get their stick on the ice, and be ready.
“If you get open, he’s probably going to find you, or probably going to see you,” Johnson said. “At the very least, you’re going to open up some more space for him. So, you can’t get caught just watching him. (Tuesday night) I was just trying to get open for him, and the next thing you know, he’s going through everybody.
“When we watched it on video this morning, it was just as good as what I thought it was.”
The spin — a rapid change of direction to evade Ryan Strome in the corner.
The stickhandling — a quick move to sneak the puck between Strome’s legs.
The power — to drive to the net between Darnell Nurse and Strome.
And, of course, the shot — a slick backhander over the glove of Oilers goalie Cam Talbot.
“When I see him do it, it’s always his strength on the puck and strength on his skates,” Johnson said. “I mean, he’s got two guys on him and a defenceman leaning on him, trying to push him off the puck. For me, as a player, it’s his strength that’s most impressive.”
As for Crosby, his two-goal performance was remarkably his first pair of markers through seven games this season. He has five assists and seven points in seven games, a relatively quiet start.
“Counts as one,” said the ever humble 31-year-old with a shrug. “Doesn’t matter how pretty they are. It’s nice to get ones like that, it’s probably been a while since I’ve got a nice one like that. I’ll take it.”
Guentzel chuckled when asked if they practised Crosby’s moves during Wednesday’s skate at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“Uh,” he said with a laugh. “No. No one else can do that.”
Am I surprised he’s able to score that goal? No. But seeing him do those things never gets old, you know what I mean? It’s special every time.
Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby backhands the puck over Oilers goalie Cam Talbot to score the jaw-dropping winning goal in overtime as Pittsburgh edged Edmonton 6-5 on Tuesday night. Even Crosby’s teammates were in awe of No. 87’s dazzling display of skill.