Regular Season: 82 GP, 29 G, 60 A, 89 PTS
Post-Season: 12 GP, 9 G, 12 A, 21 PTS
April 11th, 2018
After a subpar season to Sidney Crosby’s lofty standards, he didn’t take much time to show the impact he would make on the 2018 playoffs. Shift after shift, the Crosby line dominated in the Flyers’ zone and eventually lead toBryan Rust scoring the series’ first goal. Then, Sid went off.
Crosby continued a trend he started at the end of the regular season by batting yet another puck out of mid-air for his first goal. He then deposited a puck in the crease in the third, and deflected a shot in the high slot bar-down to cap off a natural hat-trick as well as a 7-0 victory in the Penguins playoff opener.
The game was a true statement performance by the captain. From that point on, Crosby would either hold the lead or be in the top 3 in the scoring race for the rest of the Penguins’ post-season run.
Player Grade: A-
This season was probably the most irrelevant regular season of Crosby’s career. He played all 82 games for the first time in his career which is great, but his production was puzzling. He accumulated 89 points over the year which is far less than some of the totals we’ve seen from him before. Most shocking was his lack of scoring touch, scoring only 29 goals when he had 44 just last year in fewer games played. He finished third on the team in scoring which honestly, is something I never thought I would be able to say about a healthy Sidney Crosby through the rest of his career with the Pens.
Everything Crosby lacked in the regular season went out the door in the playoffs. Crosby dominated to the point that he and Jake Guentzel were tied for the playoff lead in scoring, even after being eliminated over 12 days ago, until Saturday night. The first line of Crosby, Guentzel, and Patric Hornqvist became the most unstoppable line of the playoffs. One of the three either scored or assisted on over 70% of all the Penguins’ goals in the playoffs. The Penguins downfall was that they really became a one line team, but that line was awesome, and was led by an inspired Crosby.
Crosby has won countless awards for his play in the regular season, but at this point his seasons are defined by his play in the playoffs. It seemed obvious that Sid knew this and really coasted through the 82-game schedule, but his game in April really rose to the occasion.
Role for Next Season: Best in the World
Let’s keep this brief. Crosby will play the same role he has for the past 14 years: Captain, 1st line center, and best hockey player in the world.
It has to be hard to motivate yourself after back to back seasons reaching the pinnacle in your profession, which is a problem Sid would be happy to have for the rest of his career. With a long summer of much needed rest, as well as seeing the cup handed to a different captain for the first time in 3 summers, expect Crosby to be better than ever in 2018.