The Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs last night when they were defeated by the New York Rangers in a crucial game seven.
The Pens had the second best record in the Eastern Conference during the regular season but once again find themselves out of the contention for the cup.
A lions-share of the responsibility will fall at Sidney Crosby’s feet after the Canadian wonderkid once again failed to convert his regular season form into postseason glory.
Sid the Kid had 104 points during the regular season but hit a barren streak once the playoff started, only scoring once. Of course, Crosby can’t take all the responsibility for the defeat.
The Pens had the star power of Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Sutter. However, ultimately the skills of Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes for New York frustrated all of Pittsburgh’s attacking talent.
That would be of course, if it was just this year which Crosby has performed disappointingly. Since the Stanley Cup winning season of 2009, when Crosby scored 15 goals, the Canadian has only managed 17 goals in 46 postseason appearances.
The Pens have failed to consistently challenge for the Stanley Cup as a result. Over the past two summers the Penguins signed Malkin and Crosby to big extensions.
Their future is very much invested in the two stars and their success too is tied to them. Now that may not necessarily be a bad thing. The players have shown their star quality this season.
However, if the Penguins are to challenge the more prestigious franchises in the league, Crosby and co need to step up when the talk gets serious.