Sidney Crosby channels his inner Steve Yzerman to win Conn Smythe

Sidney Crosby (Getty Images)

SAN JOSE – Perhaps Sidney Crosby will never score 100 points ever again. Then again, maybe he will. If you go by analytics, logic states that his numbers should begin declining at some point pretty soon. But he proved in the Stanley Cup final, and by winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, that he’s about so much more than numbers.

“I think Sidney Crosby’s best hockey is ahead of him,” said Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin.

Whoa there, cowboy. Best hockey ahead of him? Two Stanley Cups, two scoring championships, two Hart Trophies, a Conn Smythe, five 100-point seasons, two Olympic gold medals and a space waiting for his plaque in the Hockey Hall of Fame and his best hockey is still ahead of him? Well, if you consider that Crosby has essentially turned himself into a Selke Trophy candidate and that he’s altered his entire game a la Steve Yzerman, perhaps that’s not as outlandish as it sounds.

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Soothsayer Crosby distancing himself from others in Conn Smythe race

Sidney Crosby (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH – Perhaps it’s time to add soothsayer to Sidney Crosby’s considerably long list of talents. Or not. Clutch player really works, too. And while it wasn’t Babe Ruth pointing to the bleachers before hitting a home run or Mark Messier and his guarantee that the New York Rangers would win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final in 1994, then cementing the win with a hat trick, it was pretty darn impressive, nonetheless.

According to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, Crosby called the play that led to the Penguins overtime goal in Game 2 seconds before it happened. “He said he was going to win (the faceoff) to me, that’s it,” Letang said. “He was going to win it to me and I had to find Shearsie (Conor Sheary). You know what? He’s an elite player and he believes in himself so that doesn’t surprise me.”

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McDavid injury opens Calder race up to late-bloomers

Colton Parayko (Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images)

As Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said in his news conference to update the Connor McDavid injury, when you’re talking about plates and screws, the news isn’t really good. And when you talk about months, and stress the plural as Peter Chiarelli did, well you can understand why Chiarelli looked so grim.

But let’s say McDavid is a quick healer and misses eight weeks with his broken clavicle, the same way Patrick Kane did last season. That would put him back in Edmonton Oilers lineup in the New Year. It would mean he’d miss 26 games and essentially destroy his chances of winning the Calder Trophy.

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Oilers’ McDavid headlines impressive rookie crop

Connor McDavid (Andy Devlin/Getty Images)

Most of the pre-season scuttlebutt pitted two so-called generational players, Edmonton Oilers center and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, in a duel for the Calder Trophy.

Advantage McDavid.

As the calendar flipped over to November, Eichel had racked up four goals in 11 games, putting him in a tie for 12th in rookie scoring. McDavid, meanwhile, sits atop the rookie race.

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Hawks’ Keith follows own rebound to score Game 6’s first goal

Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith celebrates after scoring on Bolts goaltender Ben Bishop in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Monday. (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

In case you were wondering which of Chicago’s players was the frontrunner to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP this spring, Hawks star defenseman Duncan Keith gave you a reminder when he scored the first goal of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Monday.

The game was scoreless until late in the second period at United Center, when Keith took a pass from teammate Patrick Kane just inside Tampa Bay’s blueline, fired the puck on Bolts goalie Ben Bishop, then scored on his own rebound with 2:47 remaining in the frame: Read more

NHL announces Jack Adams Award finalists: Flames’ Bob Hartley, Rangers’ Alain Vigneault, & Preds’ Peter Laviolette

Alain Vigneault

The NHL announced Wednesday the finalists for this year’s Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach: Calgary’s Bob Hartley, Nashville’s Peter Laviolette, and the Rangers’ Alain Vigneault.

The Jack Adams Award, presented since 1974 to the head coach deemed to have “contributed the most to his team’s success,” is voted on by members of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. There are worthy candidates beyond the three finalists this year, but there’s no arguing the finalists aren’t as worthy of the honor as anyone else. Read more

This year’s Ted Lindsay Award finalists: Canadiens’ Price, Capitals’ Ovechkin & Stars’ Benn

Jamie Benn (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

The NHL Players’ Association revealed Tuesday the three finalists for this year’s Ted Lindsay Award recognizing the league’s most outstanding player as voted by fellow NHLPA members: Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price, Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn and Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin. Read more