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Sid hasn't taken the baton yet

April 19, 2018, 12:34 PM ET [9 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The problem for the Flyers before the series was that they did not have the depth the Penguins have. The problem that has plagued them in the actual series is that their best players aren’t even close to matching up with the Penguins best players, namely Sidney Crosby. The Penguins captain has been dominant and is leading the way. When that happens the underdog has little chance.

You cannot take away Claude Giroux’s regular season. He was one of the best players in the league. You can call him a complete no show against the Penguins. The Flyers needed him to be playing on the same level as Crosby is just to have a chance in the series. It has been the complete opposite. It isn’t fair to Giroux, but it’s reality. His teammates haven’t shown up at all either. This has been a season long issue against Pittsburgh. Every single victory this year the Penguins have dropped a five spot on Philadelphia. When you need at least six goals to win your chances aren’t great.

Sidney Crosby is so good that he scores goals when people aren’t even looking in the right direction. This was the case last night.

There was a little bit of puck luck involved, but mostly skill based. Crosby wins the puck race and then makes an underrated area pass to Jake Guentzel to start the sequence. The puck finds Sid and he immediately wraps it into the net with Michal Neuvirth on the wrong side. These things happen when you work the puck from low to high. Ryan Stimson’s research has shown time and time again that by moving the puck like that it puts the defense in a precarious position.

The goal was significant for reasons other than beating the Flyers. Sidney Crosby is the all-time leader in playoff points for the Pittsburgh Penguins. An amazing accomplishment considering who he passed on the list. Any time you can pass Mario Lemieux on a Penguins list it deserves praise. The baton talk is more appropriate for a Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby conversation.

The following is a compliment to Mario and not a criticism of Sidney Crosby:

Mario Lemieux only played in 107 playoff games. Last night was 152for Crosby. If you took Lemieux’s 1.60 points per game and applied it to 152 games he would have 243 points. It is truly amazing that Sidney Crosby has lived up to every expectation of him and then some. It is also amazing that it still doesn’t come close to Mario. For those that can’t process comparing different eras I will stick with Mario’s sample from 2000-2006. Despite being 35+ age wise his points per game during this stretch of his career is higher than any active player right now, including Sidney Crosby. If you want to era adjust Mario’s points you would only be adding to them not taking away so it becomes more impressive.

Any time I have an opportunity to highlight Mario Lemieux’s accomplishments I’m going to and I feel like when somebody passes him on an all-time list it is an appropriate time. This highlights how lucky Penguins fans have been by having both players. Evgeni Malkin is going to pass Mario Lemieux (probably this year) and that only further cements how lucky things have been in the Steel City. Nobody has a better Mount Rushmore of players than Pittsburgh. It doesn't even include Ron Francis. Take a hike Montreal.

I could talk more about this first round series, but there’s nothing unique or interesting to say. The Flyers have completely mailed it in. They look like they’re playing on a Tuesday night in January against Arizona.

Instead we celebrate the wonderful history of Pittsburgh Penguins hockey.

Thanks for reading!
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