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Chasing 82: Bylsma won’t rest Crosby down stretch

Apr 1, 2014, 12:13 PM EST

Sidney Crosby, Dan Bylsma AP

For everything Sidney Crosby‘s accomplished during his eight-year career, playing all 82 games in a single season has eluded him.

But this year, he’s got a shot to do it — and his head coach seems keen on getting him there. From the L.A. Times:

Dan Bylsma has no intention of resting Crosby before the playoffs.

“I think Sid remembers too well not playing all the games in a season and, I think, cherishes playing every game,” Bylsma said. “Whether it’s 82 or 78, he’s been there for us all year long.

“I got a plaque for playing all 82 games one time. I used it in the winter to make sure my tires didn’t slide in the driveway.”

Crosby’s twice gotten to the 81 games plateau. The first time came during his rookie campaign and the second occurred in the 2009-10 season, when he won his first and only Maurice Richard trophy as the league’s top goalscorer, with 51 tallies.

Since then, health has been an issue. To say the least.

Concussion problems and a broken jaw have seen him miss 113 games over the last three seasons, which makes this year so special — Crosby’s shouldering a full load, averaging over 22 minutes per game, while being one of just five Penguins to play in all 75 games.

Not that he’s about to start patting himself on the back.

“You just play,” Crosby told the Times. “I’ve always tried to take care of myself and you train in the off-season to be strong and hopefully play a full season and sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. In my case it’s happened a lot that it hasn’t.

“You just try to play the same way every night and play hard and trust that will get you through it.”

  1. c9castine - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    great. jinxed it.

    • hockey412 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:59 PM

      Jags.

  2. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Where’s everyone jeering Sid for his lack of toughness? Never was a huge fan, but year after year Crosby proves himself as a rare, unique talent who just happens to work his nuts off every night and is a true team leader. Respect.

    • hockeydon10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Having that much natural talent and working that hard to stay in NHL-ready condition says nothing about toughness. Just because he just happened to go through a really rough stretch of injury prone seasons takes nothing away from that talent. Just because he made it through this season doesn’t suddenly mean he’s some super-tough player.

  3. laxman1944 - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    That’s only because Brooks Orpick is on his team.

    Settle down just playing around.

    • whammy71 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      well…Orps did take out SId last year! And there are still a few games left!

    • hockey412 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Playing around or not, it’s a really good reason to re-sign him (and the reason I was holding my breath for the entirety of the Olympics)!

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    This has been Sids most consistent season to date so far. I’d personally like to see him eclipse 120 points again let alone any player in the league.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      not gonna happen this season..99 and 7 games left. 120 is pretty tough to get these days even for him, thats 1.5 pts per game. i wouldnt call this season any more consistent than any other year…consistency is kinda his thing…if he’s healthy he’s putting up points, all season long. its not like an ovechkin where he has 20 goals in 20 games and then goes 10 without. he’s rarely gone more than 2 games his whole career without getting a point. i’d would like to see 40 goals from him this year though…

      • pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Well I’m not saying that it will happen this year but it would be nice to see it happen again sometime in the coming years.

  5. rushledger - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    Plus he played all Olympic Games This year, I believe in him that he can do it.

  6. penguins87and71 - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    This is why Byslma is a idiot and deserves to be fired! What’s the point of playing him in meaningless games! They are not catching the Bruins, so there’s no point. If he goes down for the season in a meaningless game, I’m going to be very mad.

    • miketoasty - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      Because resting players is a better idea?

      If he rests Crosby for the rest of the season and the team loses in the first round and Crosby looks terrible it’s all on him.

      If Crosby gets injured in the final seven games, there is less blame to be taken as one could say that Bylsma wanted to keep Crosby going or that Crosby didn’t want to miss out on 82 games played for the first time in his career.

      Bylsma is on thin ice and I’m sure he knows it and has thought about this. The way he’s taking has the least risk involved with him losing his job.

    • hockey412 - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      I agree with what toasty said, PLUS there’s the bigger issue of only beginning to come out of the slump they were in. He wouldn’t be resting Malkin right now either if he wasn’t nursing his foot.

      If your team is firing on all cylinders, maybe it’s not a bad idea to at least give him a break at practice. Maybe a one-game break, who knows. But if your team is performing like the Pens were up until last week, and your power play is still the worst thing on ice since Disney (12 for 70 since the Olympic break), you might want your Captain out there working through the bugs. Can’t rest him.

  7. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Couldn’t disagree more, hockeydon10. Handling the punishment of playing NHL hockey, and doing so at a very high level, while being the #1 target of your opponents’ defense night after night (plus the Olympics), requires a great deal of physical and mental toughness.

    • hockeydon10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      Sure. I never meant to say he’s not tough. It’s just that all NHL players are tough. Making the full season simply doesn’t make him tough compared to other NHL players.

  8. nicofthenorthstar - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Whoa. Get a little carried away with commas sometimes,

  9. djshnooks - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    That’s just sad and pathetic that playing a full 82 game season would mean much of anything to a player of that caliber.

    Plenty of players play every game…OF THEIR CAREER!!! Do they get a Medal of Honor and articles written about them? No…they shut up and do their job like they are made very, very, very well to do.

    I’m flabbergasted at the thought someone would write an article titled “chasing 82,” like its a freaking world record winning streak. If this is an “accomplishment” for this kid, he’s a higher pu**y than I thought.

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