Blog Entry

Crosby can't do it alone

Posted on: May 4, 2009 11:34 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2009 11:39 pm

The kid is alright, no doubt about that. Sidney Crosby is doing his part to live up to the incredible hype surrounding this series between his Penguins and the Capitals, and obviously so is Washington's Alex Ovechkin, the other marquee headliner in this battle.

But that's where the similarity ends.

Ovechkin, unlike Crosby, is getting a little -- no make that a lot -- of help from his friends and it's the biggest reason the Caps have pushed the Penguins into what could be an inextricable hole as the scene switches to Pittsburgh. Both superstars have done what's been expected of them by picking up four goals in the first two games including hat tricks for each in Washington's electrifying 4-3 win tonight, but the Caps have a two games to nothing lead because its supporting cast has been better, sharper and more driven than Pittsburgh's.

Rookie Simeon Varlamov in goal and forwards Sergei Fedorov, Viktok Kozlov, Nicklas Backstrom and even unheralded David Steckel have all been impact players so far for the Caps. So have defensemen Milan Jurcina and Mike Green. But aside from goalie Marc Andre Fleury, who has been nearly as good as Varlamov, there hasn't been anyone other than Crosby who has been noticeable for the Penguins.

And that includes Evgeni Malkin, the MVP award finalist who dropped off badly in last season's playoffs and has been all but invisible in this series so far. To be fair though, Malkin did play a part in one key scoring play tonight, but unfortunately it came after he took a bad tripping penalty in the third period which led directly to an Ovechkin goal that put Washington ahead to stay.

"I'm going to talk to a lot of players, (Malkin) included about the things we did do well and about the things we didn't do well," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "We need to be better in certain areas."

And fast too because with five straight convincing wins, the Caps are creating the kind of momentum that isn't easy to stop at this time of year. Pittsburgh did its best to slow them down early, taking advantage of what Washington coach Bruce Boudreau told a television interviewer were "stupid" penalties. One led to a Penguins to a Crosby power play goal, Pittsburgh's first in five games, but the visitors failed to convert a 5-on-3 advantage before the period was over and Kris Letang missed on a breakaway after coming out of the penalty box. That left the door open for Washington's explosive Ovechkin-led offense.

The great No. 8 tied it when he finished off a pretty three way play started by a Fedorov rush, and then took over in the third period after Crosby and Steckel had traded goals to send the team into the second intermission tied at 2-2.

It took Ovechkin only four seconds to score off a Backstrom faceoff win after Malkin was penalized, and then he finished off his big night  with a great individual effort less than three minutes later, beating Fleury with a blistering wrist shot. Crosby' responded  with 31 seconds left to add a little drama, but the goal turned out to be of little consequence.

Much like the rest of the Penguins so far.

Category: NHL

Since: Dec 22, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2009 9:49 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

No doubt about it, no one can in the playoffs.  Malkin is coming up small - Again.  The best players can carry the load, look at Ovechin, now that's what a superstar does.  I don't think Alex would be whining about the hat delay if it was in Pittsburgh.   When someone says they're not complaining but do just that. . .hmmm, what an arse.

Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2009 4:42 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

I wonder if Ovie's power play goal would have been waved off if the officials saw Semin interfere with Cooke as he was trying to get to a wide open Ovechkin?  Bad calls/missed calls always go both ways, and nothing would have been better than to watch that thriller go into OT. 

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: May 5, 2009 4:38 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

You mean as opposed to the NBA where phantom fouls are called and ref's are caught getting bought off?!?!  Sorry as bad as officiating is, it's not a perfect science and your never going to agree with calls against your team, but it sure beats other sports.  I don't know if the NBA has gotten any better, partially due to the fact that I refuse to watch overpaid, undereducated thugs double dribble and travel.

Since: Feb 12, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2009 4:32 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

The Capitals are playing with a little more sense of purpose then the Penguins right now. that said, this series is far from over but I am definitely happy with the way the Caps are playing right now and very glad to be up 2 games right now.  I think this will be a hard fought battle down the stretch and the Penguins won't go easy.   If the Caps keep getting solid goal tending and contributions from the Caps role players like Stecks, Laich, Poti, and Brads. They will be tough for any team to beat. That's what you want in the playoffs. Keep up the intensity and ROCK THE RED!!  By the way what's the status of Letang? I thought he left the game with an undisclosed injury. 

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2009 3:57 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

you're complaining about the refs and you still got the win???you are a fucking idiot.

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2009 3:53 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

if it was high sticking on the goal then it would have went to replay in didn't and therefore it was a goal
you cannot get a high sticking penalty if you're making a play at the puck with your stick as long as it is under the crossbar
..there was no 5 on 3 power play goal

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2009 2:12 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

shooting or not, a player is responsible for their stick, and the goalie also must not be interfered with. 

Since: Mar 26, 2009
Posted on: May 5, 2009 12:20 pm

Crosby can't do it alone

Ovie has been better than Crosby.....when it has counted.

Varlamov has been better than Fleury...when it has counted.

The Capitals have been better than the Penguins....when it has counted.

The Penguins have started strong in all six periods throughout, but can't seem to find the net.  Or when they do, they let off the gas and let the Capitals back in it.  I'm not sure what it is but you can tell a difference from the Penguins team that starts the period to the one that ends it.

I think Pittsburgh wins on Wednesday, but the Caps will take Friday & Saturday's games to close this thing out.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2009 11:51 am

Crosby can't do it alone

Except that Crosby really hasn't cancelled out OV. They scored the same number of goals, but OV got the game winners.

Not that Crosby hasn't played exceptional, just, I don't think you can compare go ahead goals, and OV putting the game away to a late surge goal with man advantage that brings the deficit to 1. They don't cancel each other out.

Also, I don't hink Malkin is playing horrible, but the opportunities have been limited. Really, the Pens had a number of other scoring chances that didn't work out... I think the caps played very well and took advantage of their opportunities. I don't think it comes down to:

Crosby vs OV (tie?)
Fleury vs Varly (tie?)
Malkin vs Semin (decision maker?)

No, the caps and the pens are deeper than that. To this point the caps as a team have gotten the better of the Pens as a team. Caps in 5.

Fred Savage
Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: May 5, 2009 11:47 am
This comment has been removed.

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