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Dreger: Sticking it to Sid the Kid

Darren Dreger
11/11/2008 8:13:12 PM
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What's contributing to the scoring slump that finds Sidney Crosby with just four goals?

Crosby doesn't appear to have the jump or persistence he's known for, although he did open the Penguins scoring in Detroit on a nice passing play.

He's averaging his usual 3-plus shots per game.

But his shot remains a weakness and although some have suggested he switch to the more popular one piece stick, Crosby continues to reject the notion of change and won't abandon a two-piece stick with a straight blade that many believe hampers his ability to get the most out of his shot.

In addition to being incredibly superstitious and rarely keen on change, Crosby believes the straight blade aids in his precision passing.

Penguins head coach Mike Therrien says talking to Crosby about embracing technology and changing the stick he uses is off limits. "Too personal," Therrien says.

Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero scoffed at the idea asking, "you mean the same stick he used to record 120 points?"

But without a dangerous shot opposing teams aren't threatened when he winds up, allowing defenders to focus on stopping his playmaking skills, not his goal-scoring ability.

Remember this is a player who averaged a goal a game in the Quebec League, scored 39 goals in his rookie season and added another 36 in his sophomore year. Crosby is on pace for 22 goals this season.

It's still very early in the season, however, if Crosby doesn't regain his scoring touch soon something is going to have to change.

Why not his stick?

Darren Dreger

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