Even if he was left off the 2016 All-Star Game roster for the Metropolitan Division, not being at this event is nothing out of the ordinary.
But what was out of the ordinary was the start to this season the 28-year-old Crosby endured.
He went five games without a point to begin this season. He also failed to produce a point in eight of the first nine games of the season. And yes, that was unusual for someone who when healthy is among the most dominant in the game and a five-time 100-plus point player.
But since Dec. 16, he’s been on a torrid pace.
“I think with the start I had, that was motivation enough,” Crosby told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I don’t really see (the All-Star game voting) as a big factor.”
In the last 17 games, Crosby has been held off the score sheet only three times. In this recent span, he’s also put up eight multi-point games.
And after all the Penguins and Crosby have been through this season — the firing of coach Mike Johnston and added levels of frustration among teammates — they’ve entered the All-Star break with a three-game winning streak and a Wild Card spot.