We’re closing in on the end of the first round of the NHL playoffs so it’s about time this blog started talking about something again. How about we look into some perceptions about the end of the regular season and start of the playoffs?
Perception: Crosby & Malkin had a brutal playoffs. Reality: the first round exit by the Penguins wasn’t completely unexpected. After all, the Flyers were an exceptional team that matched up well versus the Penguins during their regular season series. But nobody seemed to expect the Flyers jumping out to a 3 games to none lead, something that has almost always assured an eventual series victory. But now it’s time for the media to point fingers. Sidney Crosby looked frustrated, so he mustn’t have been playing well, right? Evgeni Malkin (the likely Hart-trophy winner) didn’t show up like he had all season, so this is his fault right?
ESPN’s Scott Burnside suggested, “The Penguins’ stars, seemingly so much bigger and brighter, simply didn’t deliver enough.” In another article, Burnside asked “Should the Penguins blow it up?” He then remarked, that the Penguins might consider seriously altering the core of their roster. He writes, “Neither Crosby nor Malkin had a memorable series, even though they combined for 16 points and both were outshone by the work of Claude Giroux. That’s what happens when you’re two of the best players in the world: When you don’t win, the tough questions get asked.”