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Penguins A to Z: Sidney Crosby remains the most complete player in the game – when he’s healthy

With the Penguins’ 2021-22 season coming to a fast end in the first round of the playoffs, Tribune-Review Penguins A to Z, will give every player a look at all 54 individual NHL contract signatories — including those whose deals don’t start until the 2022 season. -23 – With the organization, prospective mid-ranger Niklas Al Mari to top six winger Jason Zucker.

Sidney Crosby

Site: center

Shoots: the left

age: 34

to rise: 5 feet – 11

Weight: 200 pounds

2021-22 NHL Statistics: 69 games, 84 points (31 goals, 53 assists).

a necklace: In the ninth year of a 12-year contract with a salary cap of $8.7 million. Waiting for the unrestricted free agent in the 2025 season.

acquired: 1st Round Draft (No. 1 overall), July 30, 2005

Last season: It’s usually early September when the NHLers put the finishing touches to their off-season training before bootcamp later in the month.

For Sidney Crosby, it was the point of no return.

On September 8, 2021, the Penguin announced that their captain would undergo surgery on his chronically injured left wrist, an ailment that has troubled him in some aspects and dates back to 2014.

In previous years, Crosby rehabilitated the disease and overcame any inconvenience that seemed to in little or no way harm his non-reserve game.

But he hit a bend during the summer of 2021 where having surgery in September and missing the first three weeks of the regular season was a much better option than fighting through injury and possibly requiring surgery during the season.

After sitting out the first six games, Crosby returned to the squad on October 30 for a 4–2 home loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Any hopes that Crosby would provide some much-needed stability to the team on his return after his first game were dashed when he tested positive for COVID-19 and he missed five more games.

Crosby was back in the lineup again in a 6-1 road loss to the Washington Capitals on November 14 and faced a hurdle he hadn’t faced since he dealt with concussion-related issues the previous year.

Rust.

No, not his typical right wing. But laziness.

Having played every single game over the past five and a half months, Crosby seemed—uncharacteristically but understandably— turning off. During his first 11 games of the season, Crosby scored only eight points (two goals, six assists).

But buoyed by a three-point lead during a 4-1 win on Vancouver Road on December 4, Crosby got into a groove and finished the season with 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) in his last 58 games of the season.

The culmination of that increase may have come during a 5-4 overtime win at home against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 15 when Crosby scored his 500th career goal.

Leading the Penguins to their 16th consecutive play-off appearance, Crosby showed dominant form during the first four games of the first-round series against the New York Rangers, racking up nine points (two goals, seven assists) while largely stifling the Rangers’ top. Line from a defensive point of view.

He sustained a suspected head injury after a high-profile hit by Rangers defender Jacob Tropa in Match 5 which left Crosby and the Penguins off course losing the last three games of the series.

the future: For all the mystery surrounding the Penguins in this off-season, particularly Crosby’s longtime teammates, striker Evgeny Malkin and defender Chris Letang, Crosby remains the North Star in the franchise.

Provided he’s healthy — a variable that’s becoming more and more uncertain as his 35th birthday approaches in August — Crosby continues to be what the penguins are built upon.

While he may not be the best player in the game – the likes of Conor McDavid or others may have claimed the distinction – Crosby has taken something of an honorary position and is now often named the most complete player in the NHL.

Whatever it’s called, it’s still the focus of penguins, and they’ll go as they go, no matter who’s around it.

Follow the penguins all season long.

Seth Rorabo is a Tribune Review writer. You can contact Seth via email at srorabaugh@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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