Sidney Crosby

Gary Roberts believes Sidney Crosby wasn’t 100 percent in playoffs


For all the criticism that Evgeni Malkin received for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first round series to the Philadelphia Flyers, he ultimately had the same amount of points (eight) as Sidney Crosby. It’s not a popular thought – two early goals in particular made it seem like everything was fine – but some might have wondered if Crosby was “all there.”

Gary Roberts is one of those people. Here is what he told The Canadian Press.

“Sidney Crosby needs to be in elite shape to perform at the level that he needs to perform at,” Roberts said. “I haven’t talked to him, but I don’t think he was feeling great. You can’t miss that much time in a season, even Sidney Crosby.”

Roberts knows fitness and Crosby (he briefly played alongside him in Pittsburgh), so he carries some extra credibility. The imposing ex-NHLer draws on his experience with another great center as an another example.

“Look at Mats Sundin,” Roberts said. “He took six months off, went back to Vancouver and he told me ‘Holy crap, I worked hard off the ice and I can’t believe how bad I feel out there.”‘

Interesting stuff. Finally, Roberts quite reasonably gave Crosby the benefit of the doubt about skipping the 2012 Hockey World Championships.

“Players can’t afford to be healing in the summer,” Roberts said. “You’ve got to be getting stronger and preparing for the next year. The summers are not for relaxation to the point that you don’t work.”

Sidney Crosby reacts to playoff disappointment

Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby probably didn’t expect his playoffs to end so soon, but the Flyers’ 5-1 win in Game 6 sent the Penguins home early for the summer.

In meeting with the media after the loss, Crosby was more level-headed than earlier in the series, when the Flyers frustrated him to no end. After going scoreless over the final two games of the series, Crosby told Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about what hurt the Pens most:

Early losses and special teams.

“I think we were ready heading into the playoffs, and then we get a tough start like that (0-3). It put us in a pretty big hole,” Crosby said.

Crosby said giving up three shorthanded goals didn’t help, either.

“You can’t afford to give up one, let alone three or four like we did.”

As for how Crosby played? Coach Dan Bylsma says he was proud of how his captain handled himself, as per CBC’s Elliotte Friedman.

“The six games of this series were Crosby’s best six games since his [second] return,” Bylsma said.

Meanwhile, Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette finds out the Kid wasn’t too pleased.

“I felt all right. I think it was much tighter the last couple of games, and I probably didn’t get as many chances as I would have liked,” Crosby said. “That’s playoff hockey sometimes. You’ve got to find ways to create.”

As for the series, Crosby boiled things down succinctly.

“Yeah, that would pretty much sum it up – I would have liked to get more going the last couple of games.”

It’ll be a long summer for Sid and the Penguins — getting beat by one of his biggest rivals will give him a lot to chew on.

Watch Claude Giroux start Game 6 with a monster hit on Sidney Crosby

Claude Giroux, Sidney Crosby

Game 6 between Pittsburgh and Philly got off to a big bang thanks to the top two centers for each team coming together. Just five seconds into the game, Claude Giroux buried Penguins captain Sidney Crosby with a monster hit. 27 seconds later Giroux would rip a wrist shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to put the Flyers up 1-0.

Thanks to our friends at, check out Giroux’s huge hit that got Philly started on the right foot.

Jordan Staal has been even better than Sidney Crosby

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 20: Jordan Staal #11 of the Pittsburgh Penguins moves the puck up ice against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on April 20, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

Jordan Staal is known primarily for his defensive abilities, but in a series that has been much more offensively-oriented, he’s still made his presence known. Staal had a hat trick on Wednesday and contributed another goal and assist in Friday’s 3-2 victory.

Overall, he has six goals and nine points in this series — which is one more than Sidney Crosby. Staal has also been one of the Penguins’ more disciplined players, having accumulated just two penalty minutes in the wild series.

Staal is a great all-around talent and his offensive abilities have been somewhat underrated, due in part to his injury-shortened 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns. He was a big part of the Penguins’ first Cup run and if they manage to get past the Philadelphia Flyers, it will be due in no small part to his contributions.

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Breaking news: Flyers fans don’t like Sidney Crosby


Considering the fact that Philadelphia Flyers fans have been chanting “Crosby sucks” for years, you’d think Sidney Crosby would be aware of the dislike. In fact, when asked about that rather stunning “Cowardly Penguin” cover, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain said it was one of the nicer things they’ve called him. Well, just in case there was any vagueness, the staff at the Wells Fargo Center is handing out these T-shirts:

source:  (Image via Kevin McGran)

Groundbreaking stuff, huh?

Personally, I might have gone with “We didn’t like you first” or something like that. Feel free to propose your own (family-friendly) alternative shirt ideas in the comments, too.