Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Crosby Earns Praise from Canadian Teammates for More Than Just Scoring Touch

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Crosby Earns Praise from Canadian Teammates for More Than Just Scoring Touch

Article excerpt

Respect runs high for Crosby on Team Canada

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TORONTO - Even the most talented players in the world seem to watch Sidney Crosby with awe.

Crosby scored a goal, added two assists and won six of seven draws in a dominant 13-minute performance on Saturday night. But that's not what had his Canadian teammates, NHL all-stars and award winners themselves, raving a day after the 6-0 win over the Czech Republic. It was the other stuff, particularly one defensive play from the last moments of the first period.

Canada was up 2-0 at that point when the Czechs burst out of their own zone with speed, threatening to score. An odd-man rush looked to be forming between forwards Roman Cervenka and Vladimir Sobotka when Crosby, racing feverishly from the other end, appeared.

The Canadian captain whacked Sobotka's stick and sent the puck and scoring attempt fluttering away.

"I thought that was his best play of the night which is pretty crazy because he made so many great plays," said Matt Duchene said on Sunday afternoon. "He's not a guy that's winning Selke Trophies (awarded to the NHL's top defensive forward), but he easily could be. I think that part of his game kind of goes under the radar."

Jay Bouwmeester was the lone Canadian back defending against Cervenka and Sobotka before Crosby came to the rescue. He brought up the effort unprompted as an example of what Crosby, the NHL's third leading scorer last season, brings to the ice beyond the numbers. It may not show up on the scoresheet, but teammates notice it.

"That's one thing I'm really impressed with him is you always know the guys that get the points, but when you see it on a day-to-day basis how they actually play the game... you gain an appreciation for that," Bouwmeester said. "I think that's where guys at this level, you really look at a guy and say 'Wow, he's a pretty special player'."

Duchene has trained closely with Crosby over the years and pays close attention to everything he does. He's been struck by Crosby's competitiveness, recalling one example from when the two were skating together in Los Angeles. A scoring competition ensued with the loser was responsible for hauling the winner's sweaty gear back to the hotel. …

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