Carey Price exudes confidence. It is the soul of the Canadian since the beginning of the qualifying round in the face of the Penguins. In the other locker room, the great leader has a ” C ” on his jersey and the number 87.
Sidney Crosby does not need presentation. It has already held up to three times the Stanley cup (2009, 2016 and 2017) and he could already start writing his speech for the hall of the hockey hall of fame.
Crosby set the tone for Pittsburgh in the first two games of the series, scoring each time the first goal of his team.
“Everybody looks at Sid. Even the oldest have the air to follow him, ” said defender Kristopher Letang. When Sid leads your team, you know you’re in good hands. If this was not the case, we would be in trouble at this time. When he is hungry as he is in this moment, it is easy to follow. We all want to be on the same long wave. “
Typical of the 87
Mike Sullivan has described the character of his master hundreds of times. On the eve of the third duel in the face of the Habs, with a tie of 1 to 1 in the series, the head coach of the Penguins has even praised the work of the prodigy from Cole Harbour. And his answer had nothing to robotics.
“Sid plays at his best when the stakes are high, recalled Sullivan. He knows what is at stake, it is excited and raised his game. It has a history in this matter. There is a package of evidence where it has elevated its game in the meetings critical. This is what makes him the player and leader that he is. It is for this reason that it is also important to our team. “
“His leadership qualities are obvious, he continued. There is not a more powerful way to show the example of playing the right way and increase his level of intensity and combativeness when the stakes are high. Sid personifies it. I was not surprised to see them score the first goal for our team in the first two games. “
With Howe, Gilmour and Sakic
In the first period of the second part opposite the CH, Crosby beat Price with a shot between the leg pads. It was the 68th purpose and the 188th point of his glorious career in the playoffs. With 68 nets, he joined Gordie Howe as the 18th rank in the history of the NHL. With 188 points, he ranks tied for eighth level with Doug Gilmour and Joe Sakic.
My aunt Rolande would be very nice company when you can read the name of Crosby associated with those of Howe, Sakic and Gilmour.
In two meetings, the Penguins have scored five goals, including one into an empty net. They still have not found a way to destabilize the Price.
“Everyone knows that this is a very good goalkeeper, said Letang. When we play against a goalie like that, the best thing to do is to send the most rings possible in the purpose of having bonds in favour. Price plays really well. The game plan does not change, we will continue to fire shots and have traffic in front of him. “
In the aspects to improve in the Penguins, there is of course the game in numerical superiority, which has only generated one goal in 12 opportunities (8.3 per cent). Letang and Sullivan have each said they will need to find solutions, by advocating a style more combative and a better flow of the washer with the advantage of a man.
On the individual level, Evgeni Malkin has not yet registered his name on the score sheet after two games even though he leads his own with 15 shots.
“I think Geno [Malkin] has been good, said Sullivan. He generated scoring chances. It has not given goals. I had a conversation with him and I told him to continue, to hang on. It will need to continue to believe in his game and he will eventually find himself on the score sheet. “