Sidney Crosby

Columnist: Penguins failure is all Crosby’s fault


The Pittsburgh Penguins bowing out of the playoffs early for the fifth straight season has already come at a price for GM Ray Shero, but according to one columnist, it’s all Sidney Crosby’s fault they’re not winning the Stanley Cup.

Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review pointed the finger squarely at the Penguins captain in a scathing column questioning Crosby’s motivation, leadership, and whether he was looking to get people fired.

Set aside, for a moment, Crosby’s paltry playoff numbers. This is bigger than that. It’s about the way he comported himself.

It’s about the mysteriously early exits from power plays, the drifting to the bench in the middle of shifts, the uncharacteristic snapping at the coach and the perpetually blank look on his face.

If we find out he was badly injured, different story. But there is no evidence of that. The evidence suggests Crosby was unhappy and wanted the world to know it.

Crosby finished the playoffs with nine points in 13 games and didn’t score his first, and only, goal in the postseason until Game 3 against the New York Rangers in the second round.

Most of the criticisms levied here deal with reading body language and trying to crawl into Crosby’s head, a difficult thing to do given how Crosby doesn’t exactly speak his mind at will. Putting the blame on him for not picking up and carrying a team that severely lacked depth seems unfair.

Sure, Crosby didn’t have a great playoff but putting all their shortcomings on his shoulders is a bit much.

Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer