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Crosby stays hot as Flames lose game, key players

Dec 21, 2013, 3:58 PM EDT

The Pittsburgh Penguins have set the standard when it comes to overcoming injuries this season. Of course, their formula of having a spare superstar in case one goes down isn’t particularly easy to emulate.

The Penguins won their fourth straight game without Evgeni Malkin and seventh overall, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Sidney Crosby.

He scored his 20th goal of the season and added two assists en route to a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames this afternoon. He’s leading the league with 54 points in 38 games, which puts him on pace for about 116 points this season.

Unfortunately for the Flames, they lost more than two points. Forward Curtis Glencross reportedly suffered another knee problem while defenseman Kris Russell sustained a lower-body injury, according to the Flames.

Either one of those injuries would be a big loss for a team that’s playoff hopes already look bleak. Meanwhile, the Penguins are opening up a huge lead in the race for the Metropolitan Division title, which might make things a lot less stressful for them in the second half of the season.

  1. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    We just keep on winning and winning. The flames made it close for much of it but we still pull out a win thanks to Crosby.

    • chanceoffleury - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Between the plethora of injuries and all this talk of Toews being a better captain for Canada in Sochi has made him flex his leadership chops hardcore these last few games.

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:40 PM

        This is my take on the Captain thing. Would it be nice if Crosby was the Captain of Team Canada? Yes it would but does it matter? Not really cause I don’t think Sid cares as long as he has a shot at another Gold Medal. What use to crack me up is how people ripped Crosby for being named Captain at a young age when gee wasn’t Toews named Captain at a young age as well.

      • c9castine - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:23 PM

        be kind of a slap in the face of the guy who scored for gold for them last time around, and one who is more prepared to handle that large of a stage and most importantly spotlight of that magnitude. on another level than the stanley cup.

    • blomfeld - Dec 22, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      FLASHLIGHT DREAM, PEACHES AND CREAM DELIGHT

      As an ardent, sexy and ‘values-driven’ supporter of the SC Champion Los Angeles Kings , I have absolutely no problem acknowledging that Sidney Crosby is the very ‘best’ in the game today !

      GO CROSBY & MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL EXCELLENT PENGUIN FANS ! :)

  2. lowenni - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    I despise Crosby but it’s pretty amazing just how good he is. It’s hard to say he flies under the radar now, but it’s like people don’t even notice him racking up all these points because it’s just expected of him. He’s already close to 60 points and no one else even has 50. The points just keep coming and coming for him. Don’t care what any Crosby-haters (which includes myself) say, the guy’s the best in the world.

    • joey4id - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      Agreed! Good for you to be able to see the incredible talent even though you despise him. Most watch hockey for the entertainment value, and he brings it every game. He does need to win more face-offs though.

    • lowenni - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Despise and hate were strong words by me…but I’m a Caps fan, so I’m sure you all know what I meant.

    • c9castine - Dec 21, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      yeah he tends to pile them up rather quick and quiet and then somebody in the media goes whoa sid has a 13 point lead (or whatever have you).

      said it before, as long as he is playing he is going to out produce everybody else. period.

  3. joey4id - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Another ugly win, but nonetheless a win. The d men looked very tired, non more than Niskanen who’s been logging a lot of minutes with all the injuries. Can you imagine if this team would not be allowed to fill a roster spot because of suspensions? They would be losing players to injuries.

  4. jpdoc26 - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Can someone please explain to me why people don’t like Crosby? I honestly do not get it…

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:54 PM

      Jp, because he’s not on their team. Duh. I saw it in LA when 99 was an Oiler and Kings fans hated him. Then he became a King and all was love and joy.

  5. seniorteacherdot - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    Crosby is so good and they wish they had him BUT he is signed to the Penguins forever. The only way to hopefully stop him is to target him–so far this has failed. He takes the targeting as a challenge!

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Unusual sight near the end of this one when the Flames goalie headed for the bench with the puck still in his zone and possession not quite a certainty. I don’t recall ever seeing that before. Not sure if it was gutsy or goofy.

  7. pdmjr - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    How can anyone DISPISE Crosby? All he does is out work everyone on the ice. Watched him at practice one morning in Canonsburg PA and he works on stick handling feverishly. Takes on all comers on face offs and is fun to watch. I can’t afford to go to a lot of NHL games but watching Crosby practice is almost as good.

    • lowenni - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:26 PM

      Despise was a strong word choice by me…but as a Caps fan, it’s my job to hate him. I don’t hate him because of who he is, just because he doesn’t play on the Caps and instead for their rival!

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        I grew up a Leafs fan (stop laughing, they won 4 Cups in those days), and then the lowly Bruins got a player whose brilliance was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen on ice. Not only could I not hate Bobby Orr, I could not keep myself from becoming a Bruins fan (I’ve since recovered) until he and they divorced. Only a handful since Orr have gotten me to actually cheer for their teams, however briefly: 99 with the Oilers, Bure with the Canucks, Mario, and now Sid, though, make no mistake, I am still a Leafs fan. OK, you can laugh now.

  8. steelers88 - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    Crosby is a heck of a player. I think he deserves to win MVP this year if he stays healthy. He single handidly carried the Penguins this past week, I mean what more do you need. I think the reason why people hate Crosby is because their favorite team doesn’t have him. I also think that Crosby is not a typical superstar he goes to the dirty areas and will even get into a fight. I also think that he at times can complain to the officials which irks people.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      Shoulda seen Bobby Orr fight! I’ll bet he had more Gordie Howe hat tricks than Howe ever did! Shoulda seen Gretzky yap to the refs; opposing fans hated him for that (well, that and the 3 goals he’d just scored, oh wait, 4, no, wait, 5). Many feel it’s part of wearing that C on their sweater.

      • valoisvipers - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        Gordie only had one “Gordie Howe Hat trick” in his career.

  9. steelers88 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    As a Penguins I feel truly blessed to have Crosby and Malkin on the team. Watching those two superstars day in and day out. I wasn’t even alive when Jagr and Lemiuex played but I guess the Crosby Malkin tandem is as close as it gets.

  10. muckleflugga - Dec 21, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    jpdoc26

    there are several reasons why the likes of sidney crosby or daniel and henrik sedin are reverentially disliked outside their team’s fan-base…

    before he came to the nhl, we in canada had the miracle of sidney crosby promised by way of a second coming…

    all those quality teams and players in major junior hockey worldwide, but it was the holiest of the holy who got ninety eight percent of the loving and drooling attention from an adoring canadian press, itself revelling in sidney’s apparent status as the next canadian hockey miracle…

    descending from the hockey heavens, wrapped in an electric neon golden mist swirling among floating waves of iridescent technicolor maple leaves to confirm canada’s status as:

    birthplace of hockey
    birthplace of the best in hockey as a game
    birthplace of hockey’s best players
    second coming of the sort of revolting flag-waving that ties patriotism to sport in service of conservative political agenda on a scale formerly exclusive domain of the US of A after the miracle on ice [ network $$$$$ translating into medal win ]

    when the yearly international junior tournament came around, the honey dripping adoration directed at crosby left any reasonable minded individual wondering if talking heads responsible for the lovin’ were in essence, a bunch of shirt-lifters exercising closet fantasies through young fuzzy cheeked hockey players…?

    when he went to pittsburgh, sidney crosby moved in with the boss, and was clearly disliked by teammates –his juvenile antics and self-conscious whining and primping on the ice offended everyone accustomed to blue-bloods like guy lafleur and steve yzerman, players who conducted themselves with absolute reserve and respect for the institution to which they were entering…

    lafleur and yzerman drew attention, but each understood respect was a commodity bought through a quiet and deliberate deliverance of excellence; crosby presumed a right to respect won in junior hockey before earning it in the big game, a condition contributing to perception of entitlement, inherently offensive anywhere, anytime, involving anybody

    and then you have crosby functioning in concert with both malkin –another primping brat devoid of likeable personality– and a goon squad masquerading as a defensive corps…

    and, the penguins, through no fault of their own beyond perennial mismanagement, poor on-ice performance, and an owner of french canadian heritage with a bred-in-the-bone need to whine, are disliked for current successes bought through fortune at the lottery…all followed by a continually layering of crosby hype:

    penguins as a team didn’t win their last stanley cup, in spite of crosby and malkin being invisible in the cup final, we are lead to believe sidney won the cup by force of personality alone; canada as a team didn’t win their last gold medal, in spite of sidney being a virtual non-entity throughout the tournament, sidney won the medal with his first productive in-game act, a flukey overtime winner that should have been blown dead [ first assist to bill mcreary, a canadian referee ]

    the same case can be argued for the sedins, product of hype on a scale that rendered their every act on the ice as inventive, original, game-breaking and potentially historic in significance –habit mixed in recipe with dislikable players like ryan kesler and alexandre burrows, team penchant for diving, and the green pukes themselves that brought unwarranted scorn and hate on canucks and the city of vancouver

    daniel and henrik sedin, like sidney crosby, are brilliant hockey players…each are in all likelihood, nice enough guys and worthy of admiration beyond need to induce overt promotion of their hockey skill and personalities as the be-all and end-all to the professional game…

    fans don’t hate the sedins and crosby, they hate the sedin and crosby hype

    • cheesesteak75 - Dec 22, 2013 at 8:02 AM

      Muckleflugga you are really dumb!

    • jaybaileys - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Ummmm this is stupid on so many levels, but what have the Sedin’s ever done in the NHL? Maybe a scoring title, they play like glass China dolls! All I need to know about them is when Marchand was challenging the one in game 7 a few years ago, instead of fighting for his team and sticking up for himself he looked at the ref like hey help me out here. Crosby was the youngest Captain to win a Cup, scored the golden goal in the Olympics, etc. I get why people don’t like him, he wines to the officials way too much, can get calls others usually don’t etc. Jordan got the benefit of the refs too. He has toned down his whining, although he still does it too much for me. If you don’t like Crosby thats cool, you probably aren’t a Pens fine. It would be boring if everyone loved him. The guy thrives in Philly and they tell him he sucks every time he touches the puck there. It’s awesome, as long as it doesn’t go beyond that a little booing is gonna hurt anyone, except maybe the China dolls in Vancouver.

    • blomfeld - Dec 22, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      Flugga – An extremely well written and thought out assessment friend … and very true by all accounts. Nonetheless, I would also include ‘envy’ as a mitigating factor for all of the supposed Crosby hatred out there.

  11. ironman721 - Dec 21, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Some People have to “Hate”, it’s what they do. It’s easier then admitting that they are jealous they don’t have the same thing on their favorite team. Bigger question is “How the hell do the Pens keep winning?!?”

    • jaybaileys - Dec 22, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      The Pens system seems to be built for the regular season. They can obviously plug in just about anyone and it runs like a fine oiled machine right now. The trick is to figure out how to make that happen in May and June.

      • fbothharbaughs - Dec 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Unfortunately (as of late), you’re exactly right…

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