As is custom, Sidney Crosby played great and led Team Canada past Team Russia in a knockout game. Crosby scored a wonderful goal early and added on 2 assists in the 4-2 win.
No word if Dmitry Kulikov contacted Toronto police about a larceny..
Ref cam of this, unsurprisingly, is pretty sweet.
ref cam view of the goal pic.twitter.com/htS8t5hHdU— Stephanie (@myregularface) September 24, 2016
This pass to Brad Marchand ended up being the game winner and was dy-no-mite!
Marchand goal pic.twitter.com/MEX3txnLDw— Stephanie (@myregularface) September 25, 2016
ESPN's Pierre Lebrun summed the whole thing up pretty well:
Years from now, though, fewer will remember the job Toews or Weber did on Ovechkin. They likely will remember it as another big game in which Crosby got the better of Ovechkin.
Like it or not, that's the story which doesn't seem to ever change.
And, if you're keeping track in the endless Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin narrative, last night was one more brick in the wall for Sid's domination of his rival in head-to-head key meetings:
Crosby and Ovechkin have met 5 times in "win or go home" games...Points are 9 to 1 Crosby. Wins are 5-0 Crosby. pic.twitter.com/Lu9l6kBkEb— Pensburgh (@Pensburgh) September 25, 2016
Speaking of Marchand, it's easy to see that he's playing great hockey right now. Last year, at age 27, he had by far his best statistical season scoring 37 goals (good for 6th best in the entire league). He's followed that up at the World Cup of Hockey by scoring 5 points (3g+2a) in 4 games, second best in the tournament behind Crosby's 7 points (3g+4a).
Marchand is playing out the final season of his contract this year at a $4.5 million cap hit and is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in July. His success with Crosby has led to obvious questions for Puck Daddy:
, Crosby’s long-time winger who now plays down the lineup for the , comes off their cap after this season ($3.85 million) but Pittsburgh isn’t exactly swimming in cap space. It’s hard to imagine the Penguins would add another high-priced forward, or that Marchand wouldn’t break the bank in money and term as a free agent, but …
… is an NHL reunion between these instant-chemistry linemates out of the realm of possibility?
The question asked of Marchand: Does a very tiny part of you sit there and say maybe I should wait until next Sumner and see if a certain team in Pennsylvania might be interested in signing me?
"That’s a long ways away, but there’s a championship games here, we got to think about that first. But we’ll deal with whatever needs to be dealt with down the road," said Marchand.
"But it’s a lot of fun playing with Sid, there’s no question about that. But for now, we’ll keep that to here."
Could there be a future with Marchand as a Penguin?
Probably not, thanks to the salary cap.
Even if you removed Marc-Andre Fleury from the equation, the Penguins have $50.5 million committed in 2017-18 for just 12 players. They will have to re-sign key restricted free agents Brian Dumoulin and Matt Murray, as well replace (or possibly re-sign) vets like Kunitz , Nick Bonino and Trevor Daley who all are pending unrestricted free agents.
You can never say never with how all the chips will fall with future personnel moves, but barring clearing out some major salary it seems very unlikely that the Pens have the room to bring in Marchand on a big-money UFA contract. And, despite the chemistry shown with Crosby, Marchand will be 29 in 2017-18 and probably not a good value for the future considering the natural scoring decline that almost all NHL forwards show into their 30s.
That said, I'm sure this isn't the last of this story, which will probably continue to pop up until Boston re-signs Marchand or some other team with the space gives him a ton of money.
Nick Bonino was hobbled today and had to leave Pens training camp practice after blocking a shot in the foot/leg area and wouldn't return. Mike Sullivan later spoke to the media but didn't offer an update.
No update on Bonino. Sullivan doesn't think it's serious. Hit by puck on the foot. Maatta will be here tomorrow, by the way.— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) September 25, 2016