Sidney Crosby has scored two goals since his return this season. Those were in his first game.
The net has been silent since.
In his most recent return, Crosby has had some great looks at the net. During the Saturday game against New Jersey, Crosby had many great looks, but was robbed by Martin Brodeur.
His play hasn’t been lacking though. Crosby does have an on-the-ice presence, one that has caught the attention of opposing teams and media, but not by fantastic goals being scored. At least…not by Crosby himself.
Since Crosby’s most recent return, an unlikely fit has been discovered. The search was always on for “that winger,” the one who would be like James Neal to Evgeni Malkin.
At this point last season, Matt Cooke was always under the eye of the league for his “dirty play.” This season, the forward has turned heads as he scored two goals in back-to-back games – on a line with star Sidney Crosby.
It may seem weird that Crosby has failed to record a goal, but his presence is felt in assists. It doesn’t matter who he is paired with, whether powerplay or not, Sid is getting players the puck, and those players are scoring. In fact, the Penguins seem to do much better when Crosby assists on a goal.
In the four games Crosby has been back, he has recorded assists in three of them: two in his return, three against New Jersey and four against Winnipeg. The only game he failed to record an assist in was against Philadelphia – the only game the Penguins lost thus far in March.
This is telling for the simple fact that the Penguins have become a seemingly unstoppable force with Crosby back in the lineup. If he can manage to stay healthy through their playoff run, which looks very promising, the Penguins could be hoisting a cup for a fourth time.