Crosby: Pens must ‘find a way to get over that hump’

14 Comments

While just about every team gives lip service to their quest for Stanley Cups, there are generally only a select few who can look at a season as “championship or bust.” The Pittsburgh Penguins have been in that group for some time, so maybe it makes sense that they canned Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero after a second-round exit.

Sidney Crosby admitted that he’s a creature of habit, but also acknowledged that there might benefits to this wake-up call, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

“I’m a guy who doesn’t like change,” Crosby said. “It’s never easy. But, when I look back at different experiences I’ve had, sometimes change has ended up working out to be pretty good.”

The most obvious case came when the Penguins made a bold move in replacing Michel Therrien with Bylsma, memorably setting the table for their championship run. Perhaps Crosby, 27, sees the value in putting the heat on a group that could maybe get complacent.

He seems excited about the changes, especially the addition of ugly goal artist Patric Hornqvist. Ultimately, the onus is still on Crosby and the team’s other core players to get it done, though.

“We definitely have to find a way to get over that hump and be more of a playoff team,” he said. “We did a really good job a couple of years ago of getting to the [2013] conference final, then didn’t raise our game to that next level when we needed to, when teams get better and better with each round.”

If they fall short again, the knives will only sharpen for Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Penguins’ go-to guys.