Oct. 14, 2017 vs Florida Panthers
This is another one of those “shake your head” type goals.
At first glance, it doesn’t seem like much. The Florida Panthers are struggling in their own zone, and the Pittsburgh Penguins force a turnover. The defense throws the puck in front, Sid gets involved, the puck clumsily hits the netminder, the Pens score.
But watch the replay. In slow motion, you can see why it’s Sid’s second best of year (so far). As the puck comes his way, he adjusts his hands on the stick. By pulling that lower hand up, the blade of the stick is able to more effectively “chip” the puck toward the Florida goal. The lift and spin on the biscuit definitely surprises James Reimer, who lets it bounce off his equipment past the goal line.
While you might want to chalk this up to luck, you can’t deny there is skill and hand eye coordination at play. If you watch Crosby’s head, this redirect is his intent the entire time. He doesn’t glance at Penguins player buzzing towards the net. His body turns and follows the puck after this deliberate chip shot, in case there is a rebound.
Crosby’s ability to prepare for different redirect scenarios is unprecedented. He’s scored them every which way, and even manages to make ’em look pretty.
The third goal, and best of season (remember…so far) is just a wonderfully smart play. Some players love ripping pucks as soon it touches their stick, no matter the angle or improbability of a scoring chance *cough* Tyler Kennedy *cough*. Sid shows us patience is a virtue.