Calling Out Crosby – Sidney Crosby Struggling Is Greatness Overrated?


Pittsburgh Penguins super-star Sidney Crosby is struggling.  That’s bad news for the Pens.  The question posed here, is Crosby overrated?

Of course this topic is going to draw much criticism, but let’s be fair and take an objective look.

There is no question that Crosby is an elite level talent, but as the saying goes . . .

“To those whom much is given, much is expected.”  That quote?  It’s painted inside the Detroit Red Wings locker room.  That’s right the team that Sid’s Penguins lost to and defeated in back-to-back years for the Stanley Cup.

Since those 2008-2009 Cup matchups?  The two franchises have been about the same.  Both continue to make the playoffs without achieveing the same level of success they had back in 2009.

Because of his wins in the Olympics Crosby isn’t questioned very much.  If you were to remind many serious hockey fans, (I have done this myself) that Crosby has only won one Stanley Cup they simply won’t believe you.

Of course Crosby was successful with Team Canada in the Olympics.  Look at the rosters.  Crosby didn’t have to do much, other than the “Golden Goal”.  In the 2014 Olympics in Sochi Crosby scored 1 goal and 2 assists in 6 games.  Hardly worthy of far-and-away leader or “Best Player in the World Ever” distinctions.

Anze Kopitar doesn’t have the personal hardware that Crosby does.  Kopitar doesn’t have the point history or the Olympic record Crosby does.

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Los Angeles Kings

Kopitar has never won an NHL Most Valuable Player Award (Hart Trophy), or the NHL’s scoring title (Art Ross Trophy).  However, Kopitar has led the Kings in scoring for the past eight seasons.

In 10 seasons Crosby has been a 20-goal scorer 8 times.  In 9 seasons Kopitar has been a 20-goal scorer in 7.  For our purposes we should consider it a Crosby win because one of his 10 seasons he only played in 22 games; during the 2011-2012 year Crosby missed 60 games with a concussion.

Kopitar has been a 30-goal scorer twice.  Crosby has been a 30-goal scorer six times, including 2009-2010 when he scored a league leading 51 goals (tied with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos).

Crosby has been a 100-points scorer five times.  Kopitar has never accomplished that feat.

Crosby has been better than Kopitar in point production.  Obviously.

What does Kopitar have?  Two Stanley Cups.

That’s more than Crosby.

Kopitar has to play in the Western Conference.  Crosby is in the East.  That has nothing to do with the level of skill each individual player has, but the difference between style and culture in the conferences affects the outcomes of the players point totals.

The Eastern Conference has become a glorified version of roller-hockey on ice.  That’s why the Montreal Canadiens can win the East with a small team and an incredible goaltender.

It’s also the reason why the West has won the Cup in the last three consecutive years.  The Boston Bruins, who had gained a reputation as a big, bad, physical team; were the only club able to wrestle the Cup away from the West for a year in 2011.

Prior to that?  Crosby’s Pengins got their win in 2009.

The point is, it would be interesting if Crosby had to play in the big, physical Western Conference day in and day out.

We’ll see how it can affect a player next year when, in all likelyhood, Connor McDavid is drafted 1st overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

Crosby is a tremendous hockey player.  He is one of the best in the game.  But is he really the best in the world?  So many people (fans, writers, commentators) have unquestioningly given Crosby that title since he stepped onto NHL ice.

People forget the year the Pens won the Cup in 2009 it was another Pittsburgh center who won the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP – Evgeni Malkin.

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    It’s hard to buy that Crosby is the best player in the world, when he’s not even the best player on his team.

    Crosby could explode tonight and in the rest of this series leading Pittsburgh to victory over the New York Rangers.  Crosby could prove this whole theory is wrong.  But will he?  It’s doubtful.

    If you were the General Manager of an NHL franchise and you could pick any one player as the cornerstone of your team who would it be?   Would it be Crosby?  Patrick Kane?  Pavel Datsyuk?  Anze Kopitar?  Steven Stamkos?  Drew Doughty?  Shea Weber?  Evgeni Malkin?

    If you love points, and stats and analytics pick Tyler Seguin.

    A few names who might fit the pick better haven’t even been mentioned.

    How about Jonathan Toews?  John Tavares?  Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf?  These stars are hardly mentioned until the playoffs.  They all live in the uncomparible shadow of Sindey Crosby.

    But, there’s one last thing, these last four players who are tremendous and valuable when it counts in the post season . . . they were all teammates to Crosby on Team Canada.

    With the Penguins on the verge of elimination can ‘Sid the Kid’ shine through and be the difference?

    Can ‘Sid the Kid’ live up to the reputation and hype that is Sidney Crosby?

    Apr 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) prepares for a face-off against the New York Rangers during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports