Sunday, February 4, 2007

Sid The Kid Learns Lesson

There's little doubt that Sidney Crosby is the best player in the game not named Martin Brodeur. And if the league's leading scorer gets his Penguins into the postseason for the first time in several years, he'll be the favorite to win the Hart over the Devils netminder.

But today, the 19 year-old superstar showed his age in a tough 4-3 overtime loss in Montreal. In the extra session thanks to a late Michel Ouellet power play tally, Crosby tried to do too much and win it by himself. Circling around the net with the puck with Habs skating with him, he tried a pass which had no chance. Easily intercepted by my first star Tomas Plekanec (2 goals, assist), he went two-on-one the other way setting up Sheldon Souray's winning blast past a defenseless Marc-Andre Fleury for the winner.

Lesson learned the hard way for the wiz kid. So instead of getting that valuable extra point and pulling within one of fifth in the conference, Crosby's club settled for one point which put the East's current sixth seed at 61 points. Though he failed to extend his team's winning streak to seven, the thing I admired the most was that No.87 didn't just skate off the ice with his head buried. Instead, he stood by the bench and watched the replay to see what he did so wrong. That is the mark of a superstar who knows he was responsible for the lost point but wants to get better so that it doesn't happen again. That's why he was so talked about. He gets it.

And so, updating the wild Eastern playoff race after the Pens' OT loss and the Isles' 2-1 shootout defeat in the nation's capital:

Eastern Standings

Record Pts GR
*1.Sabres 35-15-4 74 28
*2.Devils 32-15-6 70 29
*3.Thrashers 29-18-8 66 27
4.Canadiens 29-19-6 64 28
5.Senators 30-21-3 63 28
6.Penguins 26-17-9 61 30
7.Lightning 29-23-2 60 28
8.Hurricanes 26-22-7 59 27
9.Maple Leafs 26-21-6 58 29
10.Islanders 25-21-7 57 29
11.Rangers 25-23-4 54 30
12.Capitals 22-25-7 51 28
13.Bruins 23-24-4 50 31
14.Panthers 20-24-10 50 28

15.Flyers 13-32-7 33 30

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