Sidney Crosby producing prolific performances
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Center Sidney Crosby's statistically successful return to the Penguins' lineup has been brilliant at times, quiet at others.
Crosby leads the NHL in points per game and has produced prolific performances. A streakier Crosby -- likely because of his long time away -- has emerged.
Consider that Crosby has been held without a point in seven of his 18 games this season -- 38.8 percent of the time. In contrast, Crosby has been held scoreless in 109 of 430 career games, or 25.3 percent of the time.
His scoring binges this season could indicate that a more dominant Crosby is lurking, with only more game action required for his game reach its peak.
Crosby already has produced four-point games on three occasions. To put that in perspective, the player with whom Crosby historically is compared -- Washington left wing Alex Ovechkin -- has four-point games just three times in his past 231 outings.
Crosby has produced multiple points in 10 games (55.5 percent of the time). In his career, Crosby records a multiple-point game 42.3 percent of time.
The feast-or-famine season has seen Crosby produce a one-point game just once. He has two three-point games and five two-point games to go with the three four-point games.
With 29 points in 18 games, Crosby boasts his finest points-per-game average of 1.61, which is easily the NHL's best. Crosby averaged 1.60 points per game before a concussion cut short his 2010-11 season.
Showdown, part 1
The Penguins host the Flyers today in a contest that could determine the playoff seeding for each team.
With four games remaining for each, the Penguins lead the Flyers by three points for the No. 4 seed.
A Penguins victory nearly clinches home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, which likely will pit the Penguins against the Flyers. However, should Philadelphia win today in regulation, it would pull within a point of the Penguins. These teams meet again April 7 in the regular season finale at Consol Energy Center, where the Flyers have never lost.
So long, Simon
The Penguins have shipped defenseman Simon Despres to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He was a healthy scratch against Buffalo on Friday.
Defensemen Zbynek Michalek, Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, Paul Martin, Deryk Engelland and Brian Strait played against the Sabres, with Despres serving as the seventh defenseman.
The Penguins generally have been pleased with Despres' work.
It remains unknown when defenseman Kris Letang will return. He is out with a lower-body injury and did not make the trip to New York and Buffalo last week.
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy is out about three more weeks with a knee injury.
Saturday was day off
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is making an effort to ensure his team is rested despite its busy schedule. Bylsma called off Saturday's practice at Southpointe. He also canceled Friday's morning skate in Buffalo and made Thursday's morning skate in New York optional.
The Penguins play four times during the next seven days.Additional Information:
Penguins vs. Flyers
12:30 p.m. today, Consol Energy Center
TV/radio: NBC/WPXI, Penguins Radio Network
Notable: The Penguins and Flyers likely will meet in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Philadelphia owns a 4-0 all-time record at Consol Energy Center.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- AHL goaltender Murray strumming favor with Penguins
- Analysis: Where do the Penguins, Wilkes-Barre club go from here?
- AHL wing prospect Sheary an intriguing option for Penguins
- Penguins GM Rutherford: Medical updates upcoming
- Penguins GM: Team not disciplined enough, buyouts possible, Bennett handled incorrectly
- Penguins’ Letang nominated for Masterton Trophy
- GM Rutherford says Penguins aren’t interested in Babcock
- Starkey: Pens made right call on Babcock