Time for Sid the Kid to step up
Time For Crosby To Dominate Is Now
When you garner the mantle as the best player in the world, there are expectations attached to the honor. And among them is that you take your game to another level when it matters the most. Three games into the Eastern Conference final, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has one point. That number is much like the Penguins. It won’t fly. And Crosby needs to start soaring in Game 4.
Will he be able to break free?
We break it down, with odds provided by BetOnline.ag:
Crosby has historically owned Ottawa in the postseason. Crosby has recorded 34 points in 23 games versus the Senators in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the most against any NHL opponent. But his powerplay goal in Game 3 was his first point of this series and just Pittsburgh’s third goal of the set.
Pittsburgh lists four of the top six scorers in this spring’s playoffs in Evgeni Malkin (6-14-20), Phil Kessel (6-9-15), Crosby (5-10-15) and Jake Guentzel (9-5-14) but that quartet has combined for three goals and one assist through the first three games of the Eastern Conference final, and none of them have more than two points in the series.
Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan, Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard, Kyle Turris and Marc Methot all reached that total in Game 3 alone. Methot, goalless in 68 regular-season games, has scored twice in the playoffs.
Perhaps Pittsburgh’s deep injured list is finally catching up to them. The Penguins’ Game 3 lineup included Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Streit and Carter Rowney, not exactlhy household names.
Ottawa has won four in a row on home ice at the Canadian Tire Centre and are 5-2 there in the playoffs. The Senators set a franchise record in Game 3 by scoring three goals in a span of 2:18 – as many goals as Pittsburgh has scored over the elapsed time of 94:59 played in the series.
Ottawa’s success in this series has ramped up the odds on a Senator winning the Conn Smythe Trophy, according to the NHL specials bet being offered by BetOnline.
Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson, who leads all defensemen with 14 points, is now the second choice in BetOnline’s Conn Smythe ballot at +400. Pittsburgh’s Crosby and Malkin are both at +800, with Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson next among players involved in this series at +950.
Ryan and Pittsburgh netminder Marc-Andre Fleury are listed at +1400, and if you want to take a flyer on a big payday, you can get Kessel at +2200, either Hoffman or Turris at +2500 and Guentzel at +3300.
Pick: The Penguins (-113) and the over (5)
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