The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

February 18, 2014

Canadians not worried about scoreless Crosby

SOCHI, Russia — When Sidney Crosby went through the entire preliminary round of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament without scoring a goal, it set off waves of concern back home.

Canadians should know better than anybody that Crosby is more into big Olympic finishes.

“I think you always want more,” Crosby said when asked if he was doing enough for Canada. “If you asked me that question a month ago, I’d have said, ‘I’d like to create more.’ It’s the same way now. You always want to generate offense, create chances, and obviously put the puck in the net.”

During its two days off before today’s quarterfinal game, the Canadian team reacted with a collective shrug when asked about Crosby’s no-goal performance so far in Sochi.

The NHL’s top scorer has two assists while playing with a rotating cast of wings, and coach Mike Babcock appeared ready to shake it up again Tuesday, perhaps reuniting Crosby with his much-criticized Pittsburgh teammate, Chris Kunitz.

That’s normal tinkering in a short tournament, Babcock said. The coach isn’t concerned about his star center, and he laughs at anybody who thinks Crosby won’t score when the games really count.

“The first line has generated a ton of scoring chances, point-blankers,” Babcock said. “They haven’t gone in. Do we worry that much about that, or do we just know good players score in the end? Lots of times in the Stanley Cup playoffs, your team goes a ways and your best players have no points in the first round. Someone else picks them up. But by the time it’s all over, they’re leading the thing in scoring. It’s not about that. It’s about finding a way to be the best team.”

Canada won all three of its preliminary-round games, going to overtime against Finland. The defending Olympic champions finished with the No. 3 seed in the quarterfinals.

Even if Crosby never scores another Olympic goal – an incredibly unlikely scenario – he’ll always be beloved in Canada for his gold medal-winning overtime score four years ago.

Back at his second Olympics, Crosby is Canada’s captain after Scott Niedermayer had the leadership role in Vancouver.

Babcock doesn’t see leadership or changing linemates slowing down Crosby. In fact, he thinks any concern over Crosby is utter foolishness.

“Everyone evaluates Sid on scoring, and I evaluate Sid on winning,” Babcock said after Canada’s 2-1 overtime victory over Finland, in which both goals were scored by defenseman Drew Doughty.

Although he isn’t filling up the scoresheet, Crosby clearly makes contributions beyond the box score.

He hasn’t been on the ice for any goals by Canada’s opponents, setting an example for his teammates with a responsible two-way game.

Crosby’s chances for goals also have been limited by Canada’s lack of power-play time. The Canadians had just four man-advantages in their three games, leaving Babcock wondering why he’s practicing the power play at all.

Kunitz, who made the team largely on his Penguins-based chemistry with Crosby, has been criticized for his lack of finishing skills in Sochi.

But Kunitz was back with Crosby at practice Tuesday along with Patrice Bergeron, while former Crosby linemate Jamie Benn teamed up with Anaheim Ducks stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Crosby acknowledges it’s ideal to play with the same linemates, but true chemistry can’t be built in 12 days by the Black Sea. He’s confident Canada’s lines will enough to contend for its third gold medals in four Olympics, whether or not he’s scoring goals himself.

“I think you’re always aware of who you’re playing with, and what their strengths are,” Crosby said. “But I don’t think it changes what you do out there. I don’t think you really have a chance to overthink too much. ... All the guys here are so good, I think you can just read off each other, no matter who you’re playing with.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014

  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

AP Video
US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran
Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide