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Do you think you are frustrated? Here’s how Crosby feels about Slump

Do you think you are frustrated? Here’s how Crosby feels about Slump

CRANE BLUEBERRY – Sidney Crosby has experienced a lot since joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005.

He’s known the unbridled joy of winning three Stanley Cups, the exasperation of losing five straight playoff series and just about everything in between.

However, Crosby acknowledged after the Penguins’ practice Sunday at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex that it hasn’t been as frustrating in many stretches as the Down 0-6-1 his team will play in Washington on Wednesday.

“There’s not one that comes to mind,” he said. “It’s up there, sure.”

While the Penguins’ slide has more than a few puzzling aspects, one of the most glaring is that it has come on the heels of a 4-0-1 start to the season. That means they went from scoring things almost at will in the first week plus of the season to scoring a measly point in seven games with virtually no transition.

“It shows you how tough the league is and how hard it is to win,” Crosby said. “You look at some of those (first five) games … there are probably different points in those games where the game could have gone either way, and we found a way to tilt it in our favor. We just didn’t the way to be able to do it, completely, in this (current) stretch.

“The seven games, there are probably two or three where you look at them, we deserved to lose them. The others, look at them, we did everything but beat them. That’s tough, when you put yourself in those positions to win and you can’t find a way to close it out.”

In fact, the Pittsburgh Penguins have led in the third period in two of their last three games, and tied the other. They lost two in regulation, the other in overtime.

Crosby realizes, of course, that there’s no quota of adversity—whether it’s in the form of injuries or crushing losses or whatever—that every team must meet, after which it’s exempt from bad luck until that the counter resets for the next season.

However, he believes that hitting a rough patch in the fall isn’t as problematic as hitting it a few months later.

“When it’s early in the year like this, it’s something that looks maybe a little bit different, just because everybody can see it as an opportunity,” Crosby said. “When you’re faced with adversity early in the season, it’s one of those things that you’re looking at (how) and thinking, ‘Well, it’s better to go through it now than in February.’

“It’s not something you want to happen, and obviously seven games is not what I’m talking about, I’m just talking about adversity in general. You have to find a way to overcome it.”

Crosby didn’t cite specific examples of missed offensive opportunities or missed defensive assignments like the one he did by Brandon Tanev The goal in Seattle’s 3-2 win Saturday is possible, during the slump, but he noted that playing a game without mistakes is not a realistic goal.

The goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins, he suggested, is to avoid them at times when the outcome of a game is being decided. And force the opposition to do something, instead.

“You’re going to make mistakes,” Sidney Crosby said “Mistakes are going to happen in hockey games. It’s their time. There’s a lot of factors. We’ve got to keep working hard and earn our rebounds. And get wins, somehow.”

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