Crosby Adding To Playoff Resume At Flyers’ Expense

Crosby now has 30 points in 20 career playoff games against the Flyers.

Josh Rowntree
April 17, 2018 - 2:16 pm
Sidney Crosby

Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has performed at his highest in a city that hates him most.

Following a goal and three assists in Sunday’s 5-1 Game 3 win in Philadelphia, Crosby now has 30 points in 20 career playoff games against the Flyers.

Dealing with a cascade of chants, boos, insulting signs and, most recently, photos of the three-time Stanley Cup winner being placed in urinals around the Wells Fargo Center, Crosby has thrived in Philadelphia.

“I don’t really think about it a whole lot,” Crosby said following Sunday’s game. “It’s always intense and a tough environment to come into, so I think we all prepare knowing that.”

Perhaps a quintessential Crosby moment came Sunday when, on the power play, he set a screen in front of the net for a slap shot goal by Evgeni Malkin. On the ensuing faceoff, Crosby went forward and dished a no-look, backhanded pass to Brian Dumoulin for Pittsburgh’s second goal in five seconds.

“He’s the type of guy who obviously takes what’s given and he saw that option to go forward off the faceoff,” Dumoulin said after Tuesday’s practice. “He made a great look, looking over his shoulder and finding me coming late and, as a defenseman, I know he has that ability to make that play so I just try to support him as much as I can.”

And that is where Crosby’s ability shows the most. His teammates know that he can do things others are unable to even comprehend and they anticipate plays that others do not. And Crosby has been able to do those things in an environment that can overwhelm others.

“The last game in Philly was a real eye opener, especially the first ten minutes,” defenseman Jamie Oleksiak said. “It’s hard to not get caught up in it. I learned you have to use your head and not just run around, trying to hit people.”

‘Using one’s head’ defines Crosby, often regarded as the most cerebral player in the game. But, it’s his drive for perfection that may truly set him apart as, even after a three-power play goal effort from the Penguins Sunday, he wants more.

“We have to be able to adjust, Crosby said. “Penalty killers know the strengths of the guys they’re playing against. We have to outwork them and when you get a chance to execute, you’ve got to take what they give you.”

Crosby’s 30 playoff points against Philadelphia are a significant chunk of the 171 in his career, placing him just a point off of Mario Lemieux’s team record.

“I had no idea,” he added. “He’s got a lot (of records), so just to be close or in the company, I’d definitely take that. We’ve been fortunate to play a lot of playoff games over the years.”

Crosby will have a great shot at tying or breaking Lemieux’s record Wednesday night. For two players who have combined to win five Stanley Cups since the Flyers won their last, accomplishing that history in Philadelphia would seem fitting. ​