Following Sidney Crosby’s career through the eyes of public opinion has been a really intriguing process. There’s a duality to the way people view Crosby that might strike at the heart of how different hockey fans are.
In the mainstream media, Crosby is what he (honestly) should be in some ways: the golden boy. Sometimes the fawning goes a little overboard, at least in the way he overshadows Evgeni Malkin. Let’s face the facts: Geno isn’t a footnote to Crosby and he’s not Robin to his Batman. He’s close, if not his equal or even better - maybe it even depends on when you’re asking the question.
(Feel free to e-mail your favorite analogies, and don’t limit it to comic books. Personally, I enjoy a Hulk Hogan = Crosby, Macho Man = Malkin angle from the WWE* golden days.)
On the other hand, many in the Twitterverse have grown to dislike Crosby because of all the attention lavished upon him and the way he acted during his earlier years in the NHL. (Personally, I think he’s done a good job to tone down the theatrics.) Those folks just don’t want to hear more Paul Bunyan stories about him.
With that in mind, it actually only really dawned on me recently that Crosby is just KILLING IT right now. After Sunday’s action, he’s at 24 points - just one behind Thomas Vanek’s leading 25 - but it’s his ferocious February that really boggles the mind. He’s had five(!) three-point games and there are still five more contests left on the Penguins’ February schedule. Amazing.
It’s not a totally new development, yet Crosby’s trigger-happy evolution is especially interesting (Malkin, too, started firing a ton of SOG last season). He has an astounding 61 SOG in 14 games. Alex Ovechkin used to kill Crosby in that category, but now he only has three more … and that’s in 15 games.
INJURY NOTES (full list) and QUICK HITS
It seems redundant to talk about the Blackhawks’ greatness at this point, but Ray Emery might be worth at least a short-term grab in deeper leagues. With a 5-0-0 record, he could just steal a start or two from Corey Crawford. Even if he doesn’t, Crawford likely needs a little time to heal … Brandon Dubinsky is day-to-day with a knee injury, which is a shame because he was heating up … Both Milan Lucic and J.S. Giguere took time off for personal reasons this weekend. Giguere’s might have been more damaging, because as much I like Semyon Varlamov’s skill, Giguere seemed primed to steal a few starts here and there with Colorado’s struggles … Tobias Enstrom hurt his shoulder on Friday (or at least his right arm). The Winnipeg Jets’ defense just can’t catch a break, unless you mean it in a literal way … Rick Nash played - and played well - yet he was a game-time decision on Sunday. At least keep an eye on that … Radim Vrbata is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury … If you have some disposable roster space, why not take a shot at Jake Allen? He’s now on a three-game winning streak and Ken Hitchcock has a knack for getting the most from out-of-left-field goalies lately (see: Steve Mason, Pascal Leclaire to an extent and Brian Elliott) … Ryan Kesler debuted this weekend and did fine: a goal and an assist in two games … Braden Holtby’s grip on the Capitals’ starting job should be stronger, even in defeat, as he stopped 38 out of 40 shots against the Rangers on Sunday … Don’t jump on Brendan Gallagher after a two-point Saturday; he suffered a concussion during that game … Hey, Shea Weber scored a goal everybody! (Confetti falls from the ceiling.)
* - It still feels wrong not to call it WWF.