Drive to the Net: ‘Best 200-foot player in the game’


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Sidney Crosby's redirect beats the Canadiens' Carey Price 21 seconds into the game Saturday night in Montreal. - CP

MONTREAL -- If Mike Sullivan were bilingual, he probably would have spoken it in French, too.

Asked somewhat whimsically after the Penguins' 5-1 crushing of the Canadiens on this Saturday night at Bell Centre if he'd been surprised that Sidney Crosby rose up with a season-high four-point performance in what unquestionably was the most critical point in the team's season to date, he came back drop-dead seriously.

"No, it doesn't," he began. "Sid understands the position we're in. He understands the stakes are high at this time of year, and he's doing everything he can to help this team win. He just plays the game the right way. He plays on both sides of the puck, he's good defensively, and I think it's obvious what he does offensively in helping us score goals. He's the best 200-foot player in the game."

There it is.


And yet, seemingly never enough.

Because on a night that saw Crosby score his 440th goal to pass Jaromir Jagr for second on the franchise's all-time list, that saw him achieve the 80-point plateau for the 10th time, that saw the best 200-foot player in the game require only 21 seconds to beat the best goaltender in the game ... he did so much more.

"To have a front row seat," Jake Guentzel would say after two goals of his own, "you can see he's taking this team over and doing it every night. We're lucky to have a guy like that, that brings it every night and is really carrying us."

But hey, let's start with the fun stuff.

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