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What I said about Malkin? Goes double for Crosby.
If Evgeni Malkin is dominant in the playoffs, what do we call Crosby? Well, he’s proving to be dominant at all times. That much is true.
By the end of the season, Crosby will finish among the best in terms of scoring. Despite only playing 36 games, Crosby has 56 points—a scoring lead that wasn’t surpassed until Martin St. Louis’ April 24 hat trick propelled him ahead.
After missing the last 12 games of the season, there’s a strong chance Crosby will be ready to go for Game 1 of the playoffs—a bad sign for the other 15 teams competing for the Stanley Cup.
In the same number of playoff games as Malkin, Crosby has nine more points—a total of 90 points in 68 postseason games.
Expect Crosby to do everything he can to win his second Cup. First off, there’s his leadership factor. When Crosby’s firing on all cylinders, so are the Penguins. He makes everyone else on the team step up.
He’ll score. It doesn’t matter if he’s putting the puck in the net or creating the play that does it—Crosby has a knack for bulging twine one way or another.
Everyone has come to expect leadership and scoring of Crosby. The major difference between his game now and his game before—even as recent as last year’s playoffs—is his emergence as a two-way player. Crosby’s defensive play has tightened up noticeably. He’s doing everything from backchecking to fighting for pucks along the boards.
More so than ever before, one can’t assume Crosby is a threat on only one end of the ice.
Michael Prunka is a Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Stay up to date with him by liking his Facebook page and following him on Twitter.