by: Alby Oxenreiter, Channel 11 Sports Director Updated:
PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby is known for scoring important goals at critical times, and in bunches.
He’s regarded as the best player in the world, with a reputation for performing at the highest level when the stakes are the highest.
Like all great players, Crosby has a flare for the dramatic. That makes his playoff scoring drought all the more baffling.
Crosby has now gone 13 postseason games without a goal.
Everyone agrees it’s just a matter of time, but waiting for Sid to score a goal, and for this long of a stretch, is unprecedented.
For his part, Crosby has been very patient with the questions, especially those that are veiled with speculation about his health.
He has said repeatedly that he’s not hurt, but many people continue to wonder, and some reporters continue to ask if he’s hiding an injury.
After all, that could be the only explanation, right?
Clearly, Crosby is frustrated, if for no other reason, because he can’t seem to avoid the subject.
Scoring a goal, or two, would go a long way to quieting the critics.
Meanwhile, Crosby was sensational in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi-final series against the Rangers.
He was Pittsburgh’s best player, finishing with six shots in 20 minutes and 44 seconds of ice time, and while he has failed to score a single goal this postseason, he does so many other things well, including his play away from the puck.
The attention Crosby demands from the opposition opens up scoring chances for his teammates, and he continues to play stellar defense.
Some have suggested on Twitter that Crosby has turned into a playoff bust, and incredibly, comparisons have even been made to the playoff failures of Barry Bonds.
The suggestion that Crosby doesn’t perform in the playoffs is absurd.
In the 2009 Stanley Cup run, Crosby had 15 goals and 16 assists for a plus-9. He also became the youngest captain on a Stanley Cup-winning team.
In last year's playoff series against Ottawa, Crosby earned his second career playoff hat trick.
Then there’s this; before this year, Crosby played in a total of 82 playoff games, the exact number of games in an NHL regular season.
In those games, Sid scored 40 goals and 65 assists. That's a 105-point season, and amounts to one more point than he had this past regular season, a performance that should be rewarded with Crosby’s second Hart Trophy as NHL's Most Valuable Player.
13 playoff games without a goal is proof that a goal-scoring drought can happen even to the best.
When a prolific scorer goes cold in basketball, the best remedy is to keep shooting. Hockey is no different, so expect Sid to do what he’s always done.
It's a good bet that Crosby will get that goal very soon, and when he gets one, it's an even better bet that many more will follow.