Over the past few years, Sidney Crosby developed into one of the NHL's best faceoff men. He reinforced his status during the regular season, controlling 54.3 percent of his draws. Crosby has not come close to matching that success in the playoffs. Going into Game 3 of the Penguins' second-round series against Ottawa Sunday night at Scotiabank Place, Crosby was 71-82 on faceoffs, a success rate of 46.4 percent. That placed him ninth among the 12 Penguins who had taken draws in the first eight postseason games. One easy and obvious explanation for his sudden trouble with faceoffs is that Crosby's vision is being impeded by the piece of plastic that has been attached to his helmet to protect the jaw that was fractured March 30. It also would be an incorrect one, according to Crosby, who Sunday absolved that extra piece of equipment for his difficulties. "That's me," he said, smiling. "All me. "I'd love to be able to say [the protective bar is an issue]. "I was trying to figure out why everyone kept asking me about that. Guess I know now." Crosby explained that the decision on whether he should wear that bar is made from series to series and that he doesn't know if he'll be advised to keep it on for the balance of the playoffs, even if the Penguins eventually qualify for the Stanley Cup final. "Hopefully, it's a decision I have to make," he said. Regardless of when the Penguins' season ends, Crosby has a pretty good idea of how he'll be spending much of his offseason. He said he has been told to expect "three or four" more medical procedures to repair the damage done when a Brooks Orpik shot was deflected into his face with four weeks left in the regular season. In addition to some dental work, he said he will have a bone implant in his jaw and at least one of the titanium plates that was put in to assist in the healing of his jaw will be removed. The plan, he added, is for all the work to be completed before he reports for training camp in the fall.
Extra equipment isn't the cause of Crosby's slump on faceoffs
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | May 20