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Sid the Kid

By Mark Solway | December 14th, 2006

The Pittsburgh Panguins are on a bit of a roll – but Sidney Crosby is on fire. Last night in an 8-4 win over the Flyers, he put up six points to steal the league lead in scoring. I say steal because he started the evening in fifth place, but a six-point game will catapault you some ways. Sid not only took over the lead, he put three points between himself and the next guy (Jaromir Jagr). Now the young phenom will have to shoulder the additional strain of the media buzzing about the possibility of him becoming the youngest player to ever lead the league in scoring. Crosby was undoubtedly the beneficiary of some good bounces and some ‘secondary’ assists last night against Philadelphia, but so is every player over the course of a season. It’s not very often that a hockey fan gets to see a six-point performance, so regardless of how they all came about, it was very impressive. Nobody talks about the ‘quality’ of Darryl Sittler’s infamous ten points (6 goals, 4 assists) on that record breaking night back in the 1975/1976 season, they just remember the milestone and that nobody else has been able to achieve it. It was Crosby’s best game of his career. Until Wednesday night, he’d never scored more than four points in a night, though he has done that three times already in just his second season. ‘The Kid’ is becoming a ‘Flyer Killer’ as he now has 29 points in just 13 career games. Sid’s big performance also meant big nights for other Penguins. Sergei Gonchar had 2 goals and 3 assists for five points, and Ryan Malone had a goal and 3 assists. Amazingly, Evgeni Malkin didn’t register a single point for the Penguins. Just one game removed from the Penguins / Capitals tilt at the Verizon Center this week, perhaps Sid felt the need to try and distance himself from the pack. The league put a lot of hype into the matchup between Crosby and Alex Ovechkin and while neither disappointed, Malkin may have outplayed both of them on the evening. If I had to choose between Sid the Kid and Ovie, I personally lead towards Ovechkin. He’s just such a complete hockey player and his aggression appeals to my ‘darker’ hockey side. But I’d gladly ‘settle’ for Sid any day too… and what a talent he is becoming. Only time will tell which one will have a more productive career. The NHL has put a lot of undue pressure on these two youngsters. Pressure to resurrect a sport that has suffered state-side since the year long lockout season. That’s a lot to ask of two young players. Especially when you consider that until Ovie’s recent birthday, neither of them were old enough to legally drink alcohol in the United States. But that might be the best thing about these two young phenoms. Neither of them seem at all jilted by the added responsibility. In fact, they both seem to thrive on…

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