Sidney Crosby turned in a dominating performance for Team Canada in Saturday’s affair against the Czech Republic, and NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun was effusive in his praise while discussing the World Cup of Hockey during a Monday afternoon appearance on Edmonton’s TSN 1260.
“To me, he’s playing the best hockey of his career,” marveled LeBrun. “He was playing incredible hockey right before his first concussion, if you remember, in the outdoor game back in 2011. Going into that outdoor game, I think he was on pace to win the scoring title by like 30 or 40 points. It was Gretzky-like. And then for a few years, he was obviously sidetracked by the concussion time. He’s been healthy, knock on wood, for awhile now.
“I think he’s ramped his way up to a level where it’s a notch above what he’s done. And a lot of the improvement is in him becoming this incredible defensive player now as well. It’s why I thought he deserved the Conn Smythe by far. I cannot believe why people thought Phil Kessel should win over him. I mean, his two-way game in the playoffs, shutting down all of those on stars on Washington and Tampa, was incredible. But look at his backcheck against the Czechs on Saturday night on Vladimir Sobotka. He’s about half a zone away on him and catches up to him to eliminate what would have been a breakaway for him. That stuff is just breathtaking.
“So he’s always been dangerous at the one end, but he’s become this unbelievable player at both ends and I think that’s what so remarkable.”
Source: TSN 1260/ Transcript: Nichols