Despite a slump that had been carrying on for more than a few games, at a certain point, Sidney Crosby just returns to being Sidney Crosby.
Last night was one of those instances.
Early in OT, after Phil Kessel tied the game at 4-4 to force the extra frame, Crosby did one of the things that he does best — creating an opening for a teammate from behind the net and setting up a goal.
Let’s take a look at how that came together step by step.
As Crosby takes the puck from the corner, he skates towards the net, staying along the boards and heading behind the goal. Eichel moves to cover the front of the net, while Evander Kane follows Crosby behind the net.
Eichel and Kane’s initial movement here prevents Crosby from going to the net, but that’s all well and good. Crosby is fine setting up in his office behind the net.
Crosby taps the brakes and is able to start shaking off Kane. At this point, Eichel is still in position to cover a pass to Sheary in front of the net.
Crosby turns and starts to break away after stopping to move from Kane and Sheary can see Crosby getting ready to make a move.
At this point, Eichel fell asleep and Crosby and Sheary both know it. It’s too late for Eichel, though.
Pass and goal, just like that. By the time Eichel and Lehner can react, it’s already caromed off of Lehner’s arm and into the net.
What is Jack Eichel doing here? My word. As soon as Crosby turned away from Kane, he could see Sheary wide open with one player standing around doing nothing and the other facing the wrong way. He probably couldn’t believe they left Sheary all alone.
Nice to see Crosby in vintage form, a shorter version of shades of Jason Spezza in 2010, even if just a short version while in overtime. Maybe a goal for himself and this move to assist Conor Sheary will help him get back to form.