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Crosby struggling without Malkin

Mar 23, 2010, 1:27 PM EDT

Malkin.jpgFor those that argue that Sidney Crosby is the most complete player
in the NHL, and at a higher level than some others around the league, he
has some serious issues when Evgeni Malkin is not playing. According
to Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review:

Although Malkin’s numbers this season are down from the lofty
standards he has set, his value is becoming increasingly clear. The
Penguins are 3-7 in the games he has missed.

Perhaps more alarmingly, Crosby, who is tied with Alex Ovechkin for
the NHL goal lead with 45, has produced zero goals and only three
assists in the 10 games Malkin has missed.

Crosby had just three shots on net last night, and was frustrated all
game by the Red Wings. That will happen when you’re
facing Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski all night long
, but it’s
tough to deny that Crosby has issues creating his own space and scoring
chances when Malkin isn’t playing next to him.

This certainly
isn’t a case of anyone claiming that Crosby is just a product of
Malkin’s genius (although that is an interesting research project for
the future), and the Penguins are having more issues than just trying to
get by while he is out due to injury.

Any team will struggle when
you take away of their top-two players, and it’s up to the coach and
the general manager to build a team that doesn’t completely fall apart
when one player is lost. The Washington Capitals seem to get by just
fine without Ovechkin — with him, they are that much better but without
him they are still a dangerous team.

  1. Wangedwing - Mar 24, 2010 at 12:34 AM

    I’ve often said this very same thing. Malkin is every bit as good as Syd, in fact, on some nights, he can be better. Syd is a great player, but, I’d put many others above him on completeness of ability.
    I did watch the Detroit game, and for those that thought the Wings were done…I don’t think so…I think they are getting healthy at the right time, I have a feeling, they can go deep into the playoffs..and I mean deep. I don’t think the Pens will go deep if the lose Malkin or Crosby..and I think the East is pretty tough this year…The wings, the older team, but more experienced team, looked great against the Pens. Granted, they were in their home barn, but, they controlled large portions of the game, Howard looked solid in Goal, robbing Sydney of maybe his best chance the whole was a great shot, but Howard plucked it out of the air like it was a slow moving butterfly. Great play..hope it was more than luck. The Pens rarely had extended time in the offensive zone, were held scoreless on the pp, and frankly, at times, looked…sluggish. Well, if you couldn’t tell by the nick, or the post, I’m a Wings fan…Go Wings! Oh..yeah..pens suck. 😉

  2. doug - Mar 24, 2010 at 8:13 AM

    Well duh – nice to see you have earned your paycheck for writing this drivel – The ENTIRE Pnguin team is BETTER when Malkin is playing – But remember last spring when Malkin was just okay and Sid led the team to Stanley!

  3. JohnL - Mar 24, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Sid is a Kid. You can tell by his immature actions. Not shaking hands after winning the cup in Detroit. Crosschecking Zetterberg in the back 3 or 4 times after the game was over the other night and whinning when the Wings goalie gave him a face wash ( in the tradition of Wings goalies fighting ). Grow up Sid. You’re a punk. You may have talent ( although I believe greatly overrated ), but you are a childish human being.

  4. jm - Mar 24, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    I love when people question the talent of Sidney Crosby. Are you kidding me? What a joke. He is a complete player and will only get better. People that say different are just jealous they don’t have him. If he played in your city you’d be singing his praises. He does so much for the sport. He IS the face of the sport. Ask an average person that isn’t a hockey fan if they know who Sidney Crosby is and they will. He has a positive attitude and says the right thing everytime. I can’t wait to see what he does in the future.

  5. Anonymous - Mar 24, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    You have to live in Pittsburgh to feel that way about Sid.

  6. Wangedwing - Mar 24, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    Totally agree with Anonymous. I can understand the biased stand point about a player on your team. But, when you have nearly everyone else telling you different…and you still argue…you lose credibility for not being unbiased. I warned in my previous post I was biased, gave Crosby props for talent, just not maturity. When everyone in the league not on his team says the same thing, chances are, that’s the case. And here..that is the case. As for Crosby saying the right thing, eh..whatever..its a sound bite..and one he’s probably fed..or has practiced dozen’s of times with the teams media didn’t realize they had one of those….oops.
    As for Syd leading them to the Stanley last year..uh..they got alot of help from the refs…I’m not saying that Detroit didn’t get help at times..I just feel from a fan standpoint, the refereeing seemed slanted.. I also think that Bettmen did the NHL and the Wings a huge disservice by changing suspensions, moving the games, and saying nothing but Crosby, Crosby, Crosby during the weeks leading to the playoffs, and the playoffs themselves. Bettmen is betting the farm on this kid…lets hope the kid matures and comes thru. AS for being a “complete” hockey player..uh uh, again. He is not. His defense at times is questionable, as is his work ethic on the ice. I’m not saying he doesn’t have talent, he most assuredly does, but to say he’s the best does a disservice to many players that I feel are far more complete, both defensively and offensively..he creates well, scores well, but looking at last Monday’s game against the Wings, a rookie goalie held him scoreless. and the wings were playing minus two starters, whereas the Pens were missing only Malkin. (Malkin continues to impress with his more complete game than Crosby.) Syd is a kid, hopefully he grows up, and cuts out the shenanigans with the stick..or, they start calling him on it..couldn’t believe they didn’t call the one me…and I could be wrong seemed he had intent to injure…there is no room for that..and, if he keeps that crap up..I guarantee you, that many team enforcers will blow by the tacit agreement to not beat the crap outta the opposing teams better players. I say, if he wants to dish it out..lets see if he can take it.

  7. Fred - Brandon MB - Mar 24, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Well, Duh! Hockey is a team game and every superstar needs a supporting cast. Rick Nash in Columbus is an excellent example. He is one of the best talents in the league, but his team can’t make the playoffs because he has no support. Every team focusses on Crosby, so it’s no wonder he can’t score without Malkin (or some other player of that calibre) in the line-up. He needs someone else to create some open ice for him to do his thing. But as hard as the press and a lot of fans are on Crosby, he’s still a winner and he delivers. Unlike “the next one” who never lived up to expectations, Crosby has already delivered a Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold Medal. He has nothing left to prove.

  8. Jeff H - Mar 24, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    So Crosby has a legit excuse when Malkin’s out? What is Staal, chopped liver? Gretzky was great without Messier, Lemeiux was great without Jagr, Yzerman was great without Federov. Crosby is more hype than delivery. He’ll never be as good as Gretzky, Lemeiux or Yzerman.

  9. jeremy56 - Mar 25, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    wow. a lot of hate for Crosby. But I guess that’s okay from detroit, what else do they have but the wings? Crosby is hardly a “kid” anymore and in the tradition of Lemieux and ron francis, has exhibited maturity far beyond his years. Questioning his defensive effort and his work ethic is just plain stupid. How can you complain about his hits on the opposition and degrade his effort. There’s been lots of pretty boys who don’t protect their teammates, but sid leads with effort, talent and loyalty.

  10. Ray - Mar 27, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    The only thing with people saying that of course the Pens are worse without Malkin need to look at last years record without Sid. They were better! Both players are great but Malkin doesn’t get enough credit for the Pens success. Everybody seems to want to say that it is all about Crosby……… it’s not!

  11. Ray - Mar 27, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    The only thing with people saying that of course the Pens are worse without Malkin need to look at last years record without Sid. They were better! Both players are great but Malkin doesn’t get enough credit for the Pens success. Everybody seems to want to say that it is all about Crosby……… it’s not!

  12. DW - Apr 19, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Detroit won’t even beat Phoenix this year…Phoenix up 2-1!

  13. Hockeyguy - Apr 20, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Honestly you know nothing about hockey. Have you ever watched a penguin game besides the games they play against Detroit? It is laughable to even bring up cross-checking as if it is some crazy never before done thing in hockey. You obviously have never played the game, and if you did you were not any good, because cross checking is part of hockey. Same as fighting, cheap shots and yelling at refs. These are all things that have been done before, so why make a big deal when Crosby is doing it? Maybe its because he is the best in the world so you need something to complain about?
    Look at Howe. He was a Wing. Whats he known for? The Gordie elbow. Please give it a break.

  14. Hockeyguy - Apr 20, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Jeff H:
    You should never, let me say again NEVER use Yzerman’s name as if he was even close to being as good a player as Gretzky or Lemieux. Gretzky and Lemiux had the HOF wave the 4 year requirement. Don’t get me wrong Yzerman was an above average NHL player but by no means can you say he was one of the greats like Gretzky or Lemieux. That just your Detroit biased coming out.

  15. Josh Lowman - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:29 PM

    Wasnt Malkin the conn symth winner as the MVP of the playoffs. Didnt Sid go MIA in the Finals. When did he lead other than the given C on his Jersey??

  16. Hockeyguy - Apr 21, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    Josh Lowman:
    Your comment is laughable. Just becuase Malkin won the Conn smyth doesn’t have anything to do with leadership. Malkin had the most points in the playoffs with 36, Crosby was second with 31. Crosby got hurt in the final game but he was far from MIA. He was the playoff leader in goals! Come on Josh… Quit hating.

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