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If Sidney Crosby is not at the top of anyone’s
03-21-2019, 06:10 AM,
Post: #1
If Sidney Crosby is not at the top of anyone’s
TORONTO —list of the best players in the game Carey Price Jersey , he is only a notch or two below it.When the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, however, Crosby will still be looking for his first goal of the season.Meanwhile, Toronto’s rising star and quickly becoming one of hockey’s elite players, Auston Matthews, has been scoring at will this season.Article continues below ...The center has 10 goals already, despite not scoring Monday night in a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, after notching at least one goal in each of Toronto’s first six games.Matthews did have two assists, which gives him at least two points in each of his first seven games, the fifth player in NHL history to do so to open a season.“He’s a real player, he’s just growing, he’s just a kid and he’s going to get better,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s dangerous when he’s on the ice and that line is a good line right now. We’re fortunate that we appear to have quite a bit of depth, we’re still kind of evolving, trying to figure out how we’re going to play everybody Jeff Petry Jersey Kids , but I think we’re going in the right direction.”Crosby was held off the score sheet Tuesday in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks and has four assists in the Penguins’ first five games.Penguins coach Mike Sullivan believes that Crosby’s scoring problems are part of a general problem affecting the team.“Just like our team, I think one of the things we’re trying to encourage Sid to do is shoot the puck a little bit more, simplify his game,” Sullivan told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I just think he’s too good of a player not to break out of this. We just have to stick with it. Just keep working through it and not get discouraged.”Crosby has taken seven shots on goal in the past four games.“I think for the most part, as far as scoring chances go, we’ve had enough to win games,” Crosby said. “(Tuesday’s loss was) another example. I felt like we generated some good ones, but we’re going to play some games that are tight, and you’ve got to capitalize on the ones you get.”Sullivan said, “He had some Grade-A chances. He had a couple of real high-quality chances. He seemed to have a few in the last couple of games. The puck just won’t seem to go in the net for him right now. He’s too good of a player to keep off the score sheet.”With Toronto’s William Nylander not playing because of a stalled contract negotiation, Kasperi Kapanen is taking advantage of his chance to play with Matthews, who has six assists. Kapanen scored twice Monday and has four goals this season.“It’s not just Auston, obviously he’s had a tremendous start to the season, but it’s also Patty (Marleau),” Kapanen said. “Playing with those two Jonathan Drouin Jersey , it’s amazing, it feels easy and it’s just clicking right now. I’m just enjoying it and trying to get better day by day. I know we have a couple of notches still left.”The Penguins could have their No. 1 goaltender, Matt Murray, starting Thursday. Murray missed one game after being diagnosed with a concussion. He has been out since Oct. 8. He was backup to Casey DeSmith for two games, including Tuesday.Murray allowed 11 goals in his first two games and Sullivan thought the goaltender would benefit from watching a couple of games from the bench before making his first start since the concussion.The Maple Leafs will likely be without their No. 1 goalie, Frederik Andersen, because of a sore knee, which developed during the 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals Saturday.“I felt it, but it didn’t flare up too much,” Andersen said. “And then (Sunday), it was swelling just a little bit more. So that’s where we are. Nothing too serious but preventing me to be in some positions.”Garret Sparks took his place Monday and stopped 33 of 34 shots. He could get the start again Thursday if Andersen is not ready. TAMPA, Fla. — Just two games in to the season, Stanley Cup favorite Tampa Bay is already under scrutiny as the Lightning head into Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.The Lightning, who have endured an odd schedule to start the season, picked up two points in the opening two games but were underwhelming in both performances — a shootout victory over Florida and a late loss to the Vancouver Canucks.Tampa Bay was the highest scoring team in the league last season , but has scored just two goals in two games to start this season while going 0 of 8 on the power play.Article continues below ...“We need to finish. We’re not finishing,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We are shooting some pucks at the net, but we’re not going there with a desire to score. That’s what you have to do in this league, especially with the goaltending and the way it is.“These are NHL goalies. You have to go in there and get dirty ones. They are not all pretty. We’re probably resorting a little bit to trying to get the pretty goal.”But captain Steven Stamkos said it’s too early to start worrying about Tampa Bay’s ability to score goals.“We led the league in goals last year, so it’s just a matter of time,” he said. “That’s the least of our worries is scoring. That is going to come. It’s not cheating because it’s not coming; it’s playing the right way and continuing to improve. “The power play has to find a way to start producing … we have to work hard as a power play if we want to be difference-makers out there.”Columbus is getting contributions from its difference-makers, most notably Artemi Panarin, who had a goal and three points in a comeback victory at Florida on Thursday.Defenseman Zach Werenski had a goal and two points, and Cam Atkinson notched the game-winner late in the third period as the Blue Jackets have won consecutive games despite missing All-Star defenseman Seth Jones and center Brandon Dubinsky to injury.“We gathered ourselves and had an opportunity to win the hockey game,” Atkinson told “We got it done. We’re taking the right steps in the right direction. It might not be our prettiest, but we find a way to get it done.”‘But there are areas that coach John Tortorella would like to see cleaned up going forward so his players don’t have to rely on strong third period showings to collect points.“I talked to (the media) after the last game. We win in the third period and we win in the third period again, which is encouraging,” Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch. “There (are) some great teaching opportunities for us here, as we found a way to win (Thursday’s) game. That’s the way I look at it.”
05-24-2019, 09:46 PM,
Post: #2
RE: If Sidney Crosby is not at the top of anyone’s
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