It took long enough, but Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs in Game 3 against the New York Rangers on Monday:
With that, Crosby can knock the most irritating question off the long list of annoying potential questions he’ll face from the press, particularly after losses. Don’t worry, though; there will always be a new eye-roller (whether it’s for Crosby or someone else).
Bylsma on Crosby’s goal: “It felt pretty good. It was a big weight off his shoulders… You knew it was a matter of time."
This came on Crosby’s 29th shot on goal of this postseason. It’s his first goal in his last 10 games at Madison Square Garden and second in his last 17 contests against the Rangers (according to a handy graphic from NBCSN).
For those who need help cooking up the next groan-worthy narrative, here are a few pointers:
The Rangers power play remains horrific; they’ve gone 0-for-32. Their offense is ice cold overall as they haven’t scored since OT of Game 1.
Hey, there’s always Rick Nash to pick on.
Uh … uh … Crosby hasn’t scored a power-play goal on the road in a while (saves that for Game 5).
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: