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Crosby disappointed in NHL’s Olympic decision

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The scorer of Canada’s golden goal won’t be headed back to the Olympics next year.

Needless to say, he’s not happy about it.

“It’s disappointing,” Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said on Tuesday, per Upgruv. “I think when you hear about the negotiations and things like that, I really thought something was going to be able to get worked out.

“Unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

It’s not surprising to learn of Crosby’s disappointment. He’s carved out a terrific international hockey resume and, given he turns 30 this summer, might not have many opportunities left to represent Canada. It’s a role he clearly cherishes. He’s captured two Olympic gold medals for his country — famously scoring the OT winner against the U.S. in 2010 in Vancouver, then captaining the Canadians to victory at the ’14 Games in Sochi.

Crosby was asked if he’d still consider going to the Olympics next year.

“I haven’t even really thought that far, to be honest,” he explained. “It’s a difficult situation to be in, no doubt, and I know some guys have been vocal about going regardless, but I’m not sure if I’m going to take it quite that far yet.”

Crosby isn’t the only player to voice his displeasure about the NHL’s decision not to participate in South Korea. San Jose’s Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist were two of the more prominent names to express displeasure on Twitter, while a number of other players told reporters they were also disappointed.

Related: NHLPA ‘extraordinarily disappointed’ with Olympic decision

 

 

Crosby captivated during a great night for the Penguins

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Earlier this season, Sidney Crosby was scoring on an unsustainable percentage of his shots … yet many wondered: “This is Sidney Crosby, is it possible that he could just keep doing this?”

Well, the bounces have slowed a touch – he came into Friday with a 17.1 shooting percentage – but he justified such doubts by absurdly scoring a goal off of Henrik Lundqvist‘s head.

… And he did it on purpose.

That goal came after Crosby began the night’s scoring with an assist on a Jake Guentzel goal, which placed him second all-time in Penguins history in assists, ahead of Jaromir Jagr.

One has to feel a bit for Lundqvist, both for being the victim of that bit of Crosby genius and for the notion that his flurry of first-period saves has likely been made irrelevant.

Crosby has scored 22 goals against Lundqvist, easily the most he’s generated vs. any goalie.

Update: The Penguins nabbed a 4-3 shootout win thanks a (wait for it) shootout-winner by Crosby.

Matt Murray made a fantastic stop in overtime, too:

Furthermore, Friday was very friendly to the Penguins, as both the Blue Jackets and Capitals lost in regulation.

The Penguins are unlikely to catch the Capitals in such a small period of time, but a round of home-ice advantage became far more plausible after this night:

1. Capitals – 110 points in 77 games
2. Blue Jackets – 106 points in 77 games
3. Penguins – 105 points in 77 games

Pittsburgh’s next two games are interesting, as they host the desperate and red-hot Hurricanes on Sunday and the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Both of those games are at home, and then they close out 2016-17 with three consecutive contests on the road.

Crosby on criticism from Sens owner Melnyk: ‘He likes to hear himself talk, so let’s just leave it’

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One day after Ottawa Senators defenseman Marc Methot had the tip of his finger busted apart by a Sidney Crosby slash, team owner Eugene Melnyk made an appearance on Ottawa radio and sounded off on Crosby. Along with calling for a lengthy suspension for the Penguins’ captain, Melnyk referred to Crosby as a “whiner beyond belief.”

It was all part of a pretty eventful for week for Crosby that saw him not only extend his lead in the NHL goal scoring race, but also be involved in a couple of stick incidents (the slash on Methot, a spearing incident involving Ryan O'Reilly) that should have been penalized.

On Sunday, Crosby was finally asked about Melnyk’s criticism and he did not really seem to have much interest in addressing it.

“I’m just going to leave it,” Crosby said following the team’s morning skate. “He likes to hear himself talk, so let’s just leave it. It was four days ago.”

As bad as the result was (and it was terrible for Methot), the NHL was never going to suspend somebody for that type of slash.

The department of player safety has only suspended two players for slashing since it came into existence (it has also never suspended a player for spearing).

The bigger issue is that slashes like that are, unfortunately, accepted as part of the game and get overlooked so consistently during games.

NHL analyst Mike Johnson put together a pretty lengthy compilation over the weekend of Senators players (including Methot) being guilty of the same type of slashing incidents. They should be penalized, including this one. But the unfortunate result of this particular one was never going to escalate it to any sort of supplemental discipline. Keep in mind that earlier this season Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau had his hand broken in a game after he was on the receiving end of no fewer than 15 slashes from the Minnesota Wild, resulting in no discipline from the league (and only one penalty during the game).

This is not the first time Melnyk has gone off regarding an incident with the Penguins.

A few years back he launched a “forensic investigation” into determining whether or not Matt Cooke intentionally sliced Erik Karlsson‘s achilles tendon with his skate blade during the 2012-13 season. He continued to seek out ways to have Cooke punished for the incident following it.

It sure would be something if these two teams ended up meeting in the playoffs this season.

Crosby is ‘just the opposite’ of a whiner, says Sullivan

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Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk had plenty to say about Sidney Crosby, essentially calling the Penguins star a “whiner” the following morning after the Penguins star injured Marc Methot with a slash.

A few hours after Melnyk’s comments, ahead of Pittsburgh’s game against the New York Islanders, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan came to the defense of his player.

He said Crosby is, based on what he deals with every game from opposing players, “just the opposite” of a whiner.

Crosby didn’t receive a penalty for his slash on Methot, who suffered a gruesome finger injury and is expected to be “out for weeks” as a result. No. 87 also didn’t receive any further discipline.

“I don’t think it was intentional,” said Sullivan, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s trying to slash on the stick. It happens numerous times in the game. It was unfortunate that he caught his hand. That’s how I saw it.”

Meanwhile, speaking to hockey insider Darren Dreger, Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson also weighed in on Melnyk’s comments. No surprise here, but, um, he didn’t agree with the Senators owner.

The Penguins enter tonight’s game just two points back of Washington for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

Melnyk blasts ‘whiner’ Crosby, who won’t face hearing for Methot slash

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Sidney Crosby won’t face a disciplinary hearing for his slash on Ottawa d-man Marc Methot, an NHL spokesman confirmed — news that won’t be welcomed by Sens owner Eugene Melnyk.

The incident occurred during Ottawa’s 2-1 win on Thursday night, and forced Methot from the game with a bloodied, lacerated finger. The club later announced that Methot would be “out for weeks” with the injury.

Crosby’s slash came two nights after he speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt. It should be noted that neither the O’Reilly spear or Methot slash resulted in penalty calls, and neither was subjected to supplementary discipline.

One individual that’s guaranteed to be upset with today’s news is Melynk. He appeared on TSN 1200 radio this morning and seemed to suggest the league was looking into the Crosby-Methot incident.

He also had a few choice words for No. 87: