New York Rangers  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Five

Crosby arrest report refuted by Ottawa police (Updated)

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Ottawa Police have issued a statement denying they had any dealings with Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby following reports of his arrest in the Canadian capital. From the department’s Twitter account:

The statement came after an early-morning report from a parent company of the Ottawa Sun, the QMI Agency (the story has since been pulled). Per Puck Daddy, here’s the original copy:

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby was arrested by Ottawa Police late Tuesday while driving a rented Porsche, sources have told QMI Agency.

Reasons of his arrest were unknown, but appear to be driving related.

Sources say Crosby was taken to the Ottawa police headquarters on Elgin street for fingerprinting and a mugshot. It is unknown at this time why the NHL star was in Ottawa.

Ottawa Police have been unable to be reached for comment.

The Canadian Press was able to reach the Ottawa Police, however, and according to the CP the duty desk said Crosby’s arrest “never happened.”

The story of Crosby’s arrest was strange to begin with, and became even stranger following this tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger:

Still no word on how the original arrest story came to be in the first place.

Update 1: The Penguins have released the following statement…

“The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken to Sidney Crosby. He is not in Canada, and was not in Canada yesterday. He is continuing his training in preparation for training camp.”

Update 2: QMI has issued an apology/retraction for its original story…

Earlier today, QMI Agency reported that Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby was arrested by Ottawa Police late Tuesday on driving-related charges.

There was no basis for the story and QMI unreservedly retracts the story in its entirety.

QMI regrets the error.

Johnston: Teammates need to do more to help Crosby

Sidney Crosby
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Sidney Crosby is the reigning Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner, but whether or not the Pittsburgh Penguins will win the Stanley Cup in 2014-15 will depend on far more than just his performance.

New Penguins head coach Mike Johnston seems to think that Crosby has done his part to make the team a success and it’s up to his teammates to do more to help him out.

“You don’t ever question his work ethic,” Johnston told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You don’t ever question his commitment. For a guy his age coming into the NHL and carrying the load that he’s carried, I believe he’s done a phenomenal job.

“Do we have to lessen the load? Yes. We have to ensure that other players on our team take some of the responsibility off his shoulders — both in leadership and also in performance. He is a captain, and he is a leader, but it doesn’t all rest on Sid.”

Crosby obviously isn’t the only major offensive threat in Pittsburgh, but the team’s balance has been put into question. GM Jim Rutherford has attempted to address that with the acquisitions of Steve Downie, Nick Spalling, and Patric Hornqvist. If Pascal Dupuis and Beau Bennett can stay relatively healthy this season after missing large chunks of 2013-14, then the Penguins’ depth might be less of an issue going forward.

Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that this team is incredibly dependent on Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. They can’t win the Cup by themselves, but Pittsburgh will have a very hard time staying competitive if those two aren’t at their best.

It’s all on Crosby, Malkin to make it work in Pittsburgh

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Niskanen
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In what might be the least surprising thing you’ll read on this website: If the Penguins are going to push for the Stanley Cup this season, it’s up to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to make it happen.

Yes, we know they’re the two best players on the team by far. Heck, they’re two of the best players in the league. They’ve both won MVP awards and they were vital to winning the Cup in 2009.

Consider this however: It’s been five years since that victory against Detroit. Since then, a myriad of injuries have befallen both superstars. For Crosby it was his head and his broken teeth and Malkin had his knee give way on him. Failing to win in the seasons affected by that is excusable, but last season felt like everything was there for the taking.

Crosby and Malkin were the team’s top two scorers with Crosby winding up with a runaway victory for the Hart Trophy. While Malkin had more injury trouble for parts of the year, 72 points is nothing to sneeze at especially when he played in 60 games. When he’s healthy, he’s a dominating offensive force the same as Crosby.

Yet somehow, success eluded them.

The Pens struggled in six games to knock off the Columbus Blue Jackets and blew a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers before losing in seven games. Crosby looked average for most of the postseason and while Malkin looked dangerous all playoffs long, he was often a man on an island trying to do it all himself.

The Penguins are at their best when both players are able to take over games or share the burden. Think back to that 2009 Cup Final – Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg was able to keep Crosby under wraps, but they had no answer for Malkin. That brand of play was missing in the playoffs last season.

For the Penguins to be at their most dominating, yes they’ll need help from teammates and new coach Mike Johnston certainly has a lot of pressure on him, but they’ll need Crosby and Malkin to show they’re the best every night to do it.

Crosby expects to be ready for training camp, says wrist is healing nicely

2014 NHL Awards - Inside
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You never know when it comes to rehabbing from injuries – especially ones in which surgery was discussed – but Sidney Crosby said he’s happy about how his wrist has healed up. In fact, he expects to be ready for training camp, as he told the AP on Friday.

The 27-year-old pondered undergoing surgery this offseason but ultimately settled upon “treatments.”

Much was made about Crosby’s struggles with scoring goals in the 2014 postseason, and with it being unclear how exactly he injured his right wrist, one might wonder if he was hurt for some time. He still ran away with the Hart Trophy voting and easily mopped up another scoring title while managing nine points in 13 postseason games (slow for him, great for most players), so the Pittsburgh Penguins likely aren’t too worried about their captain after a summer full of change.

“We’re going to have some new faces in the dressing room trying to get that momentum and get a fresh start,” Crosby said. “We’re not happy with the way things ended last year.”

This all sounds like the kind of news that fans like to hear in mid-August, yet it’s also the sort of update that can look silly in hindsight if he suffers a setback or two. At least he didn’t say he’s in “the best shape of his life,” though.

Crosby, Stamkos lead pack in NHL 15 player rankings

Tampa Bay Lightning v Pittsburgh Penguins
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EA Sports has unveiled its top 50 player rankings for NHL 15 and this time it wasn’t even close: Sidney Crosby had a 96 rating, which was three points higher than his closest competition.

That’s a stark change from NHL 14 when Crosby and Pavel Datsyuk were tied at 95. Datsyuk, who was limited to 45 games in 2013-14, dropped to sixth on the list and now has a 93 rating.

After Crosby, the top five are Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews, Alex Ovechkin, and Shea Weber.

Zdeno Chara was rated as the top defenseman a year ago, but the 37-year-old has slipped from a 94 rating to 91 and now ranks 20th overall. Weber also pulled away from his former teammate Ryan Suter. The Minnesota Wild defenseman retained his 92 rating, but dropped from ninth on the list in 2013-14 (just one rank below Weber’s position last season) to 15th this time around.

At seventh overall, the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist is the top goaltender on the list, although the Kings’ Jonathan Quick was slotted just below him.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the only team with two players on the top-10 list was Anaheim as Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry took the ninth and 10th spots respectively.

You can view the full list here. NHL 15 is scheduled to come out on Sept. 9.