Crosby Will Take Plenty of Heat for Loss Superstar Status Means Being at the Center of Criticism When a Season Goes Awry

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The questions came, and they likely won't stop coming for some time.

Sidney Crosby didn't have any answers, at least not in the immediate aftermath of the Penguins' season coming to an end.

He didn't have answers for what changes might loom for the Penguins after they lost, 2-1, against the New York Rangers Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center in Game 7 of the second-round playoff series.

It marked the fifth year in a row since the Penguins won the Stanley Cup they have failed to make it back to the Cup final.

"I don't know," he said of what direction the organization might take in the wake of the Penguins, seeded second in the Eastern Conference, losing three games in a row as the fifth-seeded Rangers came back from a 3-1 series deficit.

"The game just finished. There are always questions when expectations are high and you don't win. That's normal. I'm sure there will be a lot of questions."

He didn't have answers for the questions that have been and will be directed at him, either.

Crosby, 26, finished the postseason with nine points, eight of them on assists, in 13 games. He had no points in the final three games that defined the Rangers' comeback.

He scored in Game 3 of this series, the winner in a 2-0 Penguins victory. That was his only goal of the postseason and ended a playoff goal drought that lasted 13 games, dating to last year. He had 38 shots in 13 playoff games, 19 in seven games against the Rangers and had a plus-minus of minus-4 in the postseason.

"Obviously, I would like to score more and contribute more, but it wasn't a lack of effort or competing or anything like that," Crosby said. "I'd love to tear it up every series, but that's not always the case.

"It doesn't make it any easier, I'll tell you that. It's tough losing as it is, but, when you're not able to contribute as much as you'd like, it's even tougher."

After his lone goal this postseason, speculation about what might be wrong with Crosby, injury or otherwise, died down, but it picked up again over the ensuing four games. He was the target of a lot of physical play by Columbus in the first round and, in particular, by New York in the second. …


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