Tuesday, October 21, 2008


From the "what, are you kidding me?" file, Greg Wyshynski asks the question this morning, is it possible for Sidney Crosby to be underrated at anything? Specifically, the issue is goal scoring and whether the youngster is somehow underrated in that aspect of the game, given this compendium of highlight quality goals assembled by TSN Canada.

Well, here's the deal...if the standard is, say, Marco Sturm or Niklas Hagman -- both of whom finished last year with 27 goals to finish in the 50ish ranking in the league, then yes, Crosby isn't getting the credit he deserves for averaging 37 goals per 82 games so far in his career (some of them of, yes, the highlight variety).

But that's not the standard here. This is a young man who scored 120 goals in 121 regular season games in Canadian junior. He has been heralded as the next coming of Wayne Gretzky perhaps since his age was still in single digits. He's done this before. His talent, including his ability to score goals, has set a high bar.

But that's the point...how he is "rated" - under or otherwise - is a product of what is expected of him, and what is expected is "a lot." That might be both compliment and curse, but it's not as if we're comparing him to Sturm or Hagman. Crosby is rated highly in all aspects of his game, and rightly so. Frankly, I'd expect a highlight goal a month, not a compilation of ten that included shootouts (sorry, Gimmicks not allowed, they are not "goals" anymore than home runs in home run derbies are "home runs").

The question is, in my opinion, almost insulting to Crosby. He is lauded enough, with good reason we might add, without needing the manufacture of his being "underrated" with respect to one part of his game.


DMG said...

I have to be honest - I think Crosby may be a little underrated when it comes to goal scoring ability. In terms of numbers he actually compares pretty well with Alexander Semin: If you look at the full/near full seasons he's played he's scored 39 and 36 goals, compared to 38 for Semin's full campaign. Last year Crosby had 24 in 53 games and Semin had 26 in 63 games. Crosby averages 37 goals per 82 games; Semin averages 33.

For the record, I still think Semin is a better goal scorer than Crosby but how many people, especially Caps fans, would have guess the numbers were that close?

Marky Narc said...

It's called "realizing you've set the bar too high and trying to lower it when no one is looking" and "darn it, why does he have to be playing in the dead-puck era?"

Hooks Orpik said...

I think Crosby is certainly "under-celebrated" as a goal scorer but it's a little hard to call anyone who's universally considered at least the #2 offensive hockey player in the world under-rated in any offensive category. I see it as a non-issue, really, it doesn't matter what fans league wide think, just as long as Crosby's doing his part to help the team win is good enough for me.

The Peerless said...

That would be the object of the exercise. It'd be like the flip side..."is Ovechkin underrated as a passer?" Well, gee, playmaker isn't excatly Task One on his things to do list. Elite players do what they have to, within their team's concept, to win.