The Rink Report: Captain Crosby Shines in All-Star Game

Written By Anthony Cugini, Sports Columnist

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby put on a show at this year’s NHL All-Star Game over the past weekend.

In 2016 the NHL got rid of the traditional regulation-length All-Star game and adapted to a more fast-paced look which features a four team, single elimination tournament. Each division fields a roster and plays the opposing division from their conference and for maximum entertainment, the teams play 3-on-3 hockey.

The event has had more of a chaotic feel over the last few years than it did previously as  teams tend to play no defense and constantly leave their goalies out to dry. This year was no different.

Penguins fans were spoiled enough to see Crosby on a line with the legendary Alexander Ovechkin. They put on a show, to say the least, as the two future Hall of Famers combined to score twice in their game against the Atlantic Division. 

The highlight of the day for the pair came on an attempted clearance by the Atlantic’s goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. Crosby batted the puck out of mid-air then passed to Ovechkin in front of the net. The duo quickly passed back and forth which left Vasilevskiy sprawling from side to side which allowed Crosby to lift the puck into the net for the goal.

Crosby recorded two goals and an assist in the Metropolitan Division’s only game. Since the NHL changed the All-Star Game to a 3-on-3 format, the Halifax, Canada native has recorded 15 points in four appearances. 

With the All-Star Game behind us, the Penguins must refocus on securing a playoff position. The Pens currently sit in a Wild-Card spot that is up for grabs. The Penguins are just one of four teams within three points of the playoffs. 

The first game back for Pittsburgh won’t be an easy one as the Pens will host the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Colorado Avalanche, on Tuesday. 

Avalanche forward Evan Rodrigues will make his return to the Steel City after spending two and a half seasons in the Burgh. Though I’m sure Penguins fans will give him a warm welcome, I doubt we’ll see an appreciation video.

The rest of the Pens week won’t be as difficult with games against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. Though the Kings aren’t exactly a cake walk, it’d be hard to say the same for the Ducks. Anaheim sits dead last in their division despite going on a three game winning streak before the All-Star break.

Pittsburgh has been shaky lately, but we can hang on to the hope that the extended time off has helped them reset.