Thursday, December 16, 2010
Shoot the Puck!
Should Crosby and Malkin be linemates?
How many shots on goal does Sidney Crosby have in the past two games since Geno came back and took took a spot on his wing? If you said zero, you are correct! We all know that Crosby is a passer first and a shooter second. It doesn't matter that he made an effort to shoot more last year and ended up scoring 51 goals. He will always be a passer first and a shooter second. Does he defer to highly skilled linemates too much, or is this just a coincidence? After all, it's just two games. Let's take a look at the number of shot-less games for Sid by season:
06-07 4 (including 3 in a row)
07-08 2 (in 53 games)
08-09 8 (including 2 in a row)
10-11 2 (33 games, 2 in a row)
This doesn't really tell us much except that Sid was probably due for a shot-less game sometime soon, and that he may go through little streaks where he doesn't shoot much. The only time Sid's had an "elite winger" on his line consistently was the 07-08 playoffs, when he was flanked by Marian Hossa. He had at least one shot in all 20 playoff games, and more than one shot in 18 of those. So it's probably nothing.
It's interesting to think about though: maybe Sid performs better with guys like Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis than he does with a high scoring winger. Or maybe adding an elite winger to his line doesn't add as much production as we think it might. Perhaps that's why Ray Shero never goes after a high priced goal scorer in the off-season. Kunitz should be back for the next game, and I'm guessing Dan Bylsma will split up the two-headed monster, so we may never know for sure.
Sid Needs to Stop Whining
Here's what Crosby had to say about the goal the Pens had waived off due to goalie interference last night:
"It was close. Whether or not it affected the goalie making the save is a decision the referee had to make in a split-second. He made the call, but besides that we still could have done a better job in the third, and we paid for it."
What a baby.
We haven't gotten a Jordan Staal update in a little while, which is a bit worrisome. Assuming he gets back fairly soon, what will the lines look like? Here are my ideal lines:
Of course this assumes everyone else stays healthy.