Sidney Crosby

Scores

Boston 4
Carolina 1 (Recap)

Anaheim 1
Pittsburgh 3 (Recap)

Calgary 5
Winnipeg 4 (SO) (Recap)

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Notable Numbers

* Brian Gibbons got called up for his first NHL game, and it kinda went okay. He put home a great Evgeni Malkin pass, and assisted on another goal for one and one. Way to go, new guy. Quality point-per-game start.

* A couple other young guys had good nights too – Carl Soderberg of the Bruins and TJ Brodie of the Flames both had one and one as well.

* There was some quality goaltending on Monday – Tuukka Rask stopped 23 of 24 shots, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 of 28 shots. Two goalies everyone thinks are on par there, I’m sure.

* The Jets outshot the Flames 47 to 33. With all due respect, most teams kinda expect to put up those totals when playing either the Flames or the Jets. (Okay, that wasn’t super respectful.)

* Evgeni Malkin had an assist, which gives him 17 in 21 games. His goal total – three – may not be impressive, but the huge secret is that he might still be useful. MAYBE.

* The Boston Bruins have killed off 32 consecutive penalties. My word.

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What Happened

Nobody leaves empty-handed

Both the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets probably looked at the schedule and thought…”can’t lose tonight.” Neither team really did – they both got at least a point – but it took a goal with 5.6 seconds left from Brian Little for that to happen. Let’s watch it, shall we?

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Sidney Crosby caught Alex Steen in points

What an odd headline, but here we are. The Penguins beat the Ducks 3-1, and Crosby’s contribution – one goal – moved him back into a tie for the league lead in points with Alex Steen. Man that feels weird to write.

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On-ice plagiarism

The Flames beat the Jets in a shootout last night, but Blake Wheeler scored using the Patrick Kane “start out with some speed, hit the brakes a ridiculous amount after that” move, which is always fun. I think you’ll like it:

I’ve written about the purpose of the shooter’s change of pace before, here.

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An Opinion

One of my favorite things about the immeasurable talent of Sidney Crosby is that analysts, myself included, struggle to explain why he outperforms his peers by so much. We wish we could, but it’s like wishing you can do what Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting does with numbers – it’s not really an attainable thing if you aren’t born with it.

Is Crosby the fastest? He is not.

Hardest shot? No.

Best dangles? No?

Best defensively? No.

…Draft of NHL players with everyone in a pool tomorrow? Every GM takes him first.

Last night Pierre McGuire did what a million other analysts have done in the past (unfortunately I can’t find that specific call): he took Crosby’s goal and said stuff about it like he has a clue why Sid piles up points. Frankly, it’s really tough to explain his talent.

Regardless of what it is, he just keeps grabbin’ those numbers.

He’s amazing at picking up bad passes, he has a great backhand, he has amazing vision…but mostly I guess he just has exceptional hockey sense. Last night’s goal may not have represented that at all, but shlubs like me can’t see it like he can anyway, so it’s tough to tell which ones set him apart from the others. And there’s nothing wrong with admitting that, I don’t think.

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Other News

* With Ilya Bryzgalov back in the NHL, we’re going to get fun quotes again. That’s just part of the deal. Our own Katie Flynn highlighted this last night in this post about Bryz’s comments:

When a reporter asked if he saw the Oilers as a second chance, Bryzgalov said “What do you mean?” followed by “I never lost my first chance, you know.” While Bryzgalov didn’t take the buyout personally or take it to mean he had lost his job, he took it as a business decision.

Bryzgalov isn’t bothered by the buyout and explained “Not at all. You know, it’s out of my control. I can’t do anything about it. It’s just like, ‘Ok, guys. If you decide… to make that move, I’ve just got to accept it and move on.’”

There’s more in that post, so check it out. Bryz the Best, as always.

* Brad Marchand isn’t exactly killing it this year – seven points, 20 games:

* And finally, if this wasn’t clear already, Roberto Luongo “gets it.” How about these two tweets:

Playing Tim Thomas tomorrow night…

…And considering the time he was ohhh sooo close to getting traded to Toronto:

What a beauty.