Heading into the Gold medal game, what do you think of Sidney Crosby's performance thus far at the Olympics?
The greatest players usually use these types of tournaments to cement their place in history and there was so much hype for the last few years about how this Olympics would be the Ovechkin and Crosby show (ironic now since they were both busts in the big Russia vs Canada game).
So what do you think of Crosby's performance with one and the most important game to go? Early on I was in Crosby's corner, I was in the group that thought he played well when it counted against the U.S and should have got more ice time that game, but now in answer to the question, I'd have to say I've been disappointed in his play. I don't think he has stepped up. If it wasn't for the rest of the team coming together, I think he would be taking a lot of heat, but when the rest of the team wins, stars can escape the attention.
Tonight was a good example, I thought Crosby was pretty invisible, but at the end of the first intermissions the Canadian announcers say going into it Crosby and Thornton needed to step up and Crosby has done that. Huh? Even Pierre McGuire said "Crosby has done a lot of good things in the 1st, but..." (which is about as harsh as McGuire will get on a Canadian star). Crosby and linemates (at some point I think we have to stop blaming the coaches for not finding the right linemates) couldn't get it don to expand the lead when it was 2-0, and the Getzlaf group came through instead. Then Crosby had a bad turnover that almost led to a goal against and a few other sketchy decisions defensively.
So, thus far I'd say he has been disappointing. But of course his reputation will be formed with the Gold medal game. But it continues like this, even if Canada wins, I'd say Crosby has been rather ineffective rather than standing out and being one of the better players in the tournament or even on his own team.
Crosby doesn't have breakaway speed like he did in his Hart trophy season. I think that high ankle sprain is still affecting him. But yeah Sid hasn't dominated, nobody really has. USA has Parise and Miller making timely play after timely play. Roberto and Sid have to step up on sunday.
He has been great. He has set up his linemates many times with no conversion and he's a little snakebitten as well. He is going against others teams top lines and giving them nothing. He has been great defensively, winning face-offs and his backchecking as stopped many rushes. Like said above everything isn't seen on the scoresheet. That's why Crosby is the most complete player he can bring whatever game you want to the table.
It's not all about points. He had some very questionable defensive decisions that didn't lead to goals (it's not all about points or goals against -- you can make bad reads that don't lead to goals against), but he is expected to step up at big times and I don't think you can say he has.
I'm neither a Crosby fan boy or a Crosby basher. I felt he played well in the USA game, but the overall and the last two game have left me disappointed.
He hasn't looked like the best player on the ice in any game.
He hasn't controlled any game.
He's looked ok. That isn't good enough.
He looks VERY lazy defensively, which is something I never expected from him. It's like he doesn't have a fire anymore.
Azumi, that is pretty much my impression as well. Fans shouldn't need announcers screaming about a player's lazy defensive play to notice because lord knows they pick their spots depending upon who it is -- but he has been lazy defensively.
Crosby is a great player (personally I think he's the best in the NHL). This is the biggest stage he's played on...and he's delivered a performance that fits your description. It's disappointing.
Koss, I agree the Crosby line had a couple of good shifts late in the game, but I don't think that salvaged their performance. He also had a couple of turnovers and misreads that could have been disastrous in the third.
The "It's not all about the score sheet" doesn't always work as a default answer to defend a player.