What's buzzing:

Canada not worried about no goals from Crosby

AP - Sports
Canada not worried about no goals from Crosby
.

View gallery

SOCHI, Russia (AP) -- When Sidney Crosby went through the entire preliminary round of the Olympic men's hockey tournament without scoring a goal, it set off waves of concern back home.

Canadians should know better than anybody that Crosby is more into big Olympic finishes.

''I think you always want more,'' Crosby said when asked if he was doing enough for Canada. ''If you asked me that question a month ago, I'd have said, 'I'd like to create more.' It's the same way now. You always want to generate offense, create chances, and obviously put the puck in the net.''

During its two days off before Wednesday's quarterfinal game, the Canadian team reacted with a collective shrug when asked about Crosby's no-goal performance so far in Sochi.

The NHL's top scorer has two assists while playing with a rotating cast of wings, and coach Mike Babcock appears ready to shake it up again Tuesday, perhaps reuniting Crosby with his much-criticized Pittsburgh teammate, Chris Kunitz.

That's normal tinkering in a short tournament, Babcock said. The coach isn't concerned about his star center, and he laughs at anybody who thinks Crosby won't score when the games really count.

''The first line has generated a ton of scoring chances, point-blankers,'' Babcock said. ''They haven't gone in. Do we worry that much about that, or do we just know good players score in the end? Lots of times in the Stanley Cup playoffs, your team goes a ways and your best players have no points in the first round. Someone else picks them up. But by the time it's all over, they're leading the thing in scoring. It's not about that. It's about finding a way to be the best team.''

Canada won all three of its preliminary-round games, going to overtime against Finland. The defending Olympic champions finished with the No. 3 seed in the quarterfinals.

Even if Crosby never scores another Olympic goal - an incredibly unlikely scenario - he'll always be beloved in Canada for his gold medal-winning overtime score four years ago. Back at his second Olympics, Crosby is Canada's captain after Scott Niedermayer had the leadership role in Vancouver.

Babcock doesn't see leadership or changing linemates slowing down Crosby. In fact, he thinks any concern over Crosby is utter foolishness.

''Everyone evaluates Sid on scoring, and I evaluate Sid on winning,'' Babcock said after Canada's 2-1 overtime victory over Finland, in which both goals were scored by defenseman Drew Doughty.

Although he isn't filling up the scoresheet, Crosby clearly makes contributions beyond the box score. He hasn't been on the ice for any goals by Canada's opponents, setting an example for his teammates with a responsible two-way game.

Crosby's chances for goals also have been limited by Canada's lack of power-play time. The Canadians had just four man-advantages in their three games, leaving Babcock wondering why he's practicing the power play at all.

Kunitz, who made the team largely on his Penguins-based chemistry with Crosby, has been criticized for his lack of finishing skills in Sochi. But Kunitz was back with Crosby at practice Tuesday along with Patrice Bergeron, while former Crosby linemate Jamie Benn teamed up with Anaheim Ducks stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

Crosby acknowledges it's ideal to play with the same linemates, but true chemistry can't be built in 12 days by the Black Sea. He's confident Canada's lines will enough to contend for its third gold medals in four Olympics, whether or not he's scoring goals himself.

''I think you're always aware of who you're playing with, and what their strengths are,'' Crosby said. ''But I don't think it changes what you do out there. I don't think you really have a chance to overthink too much. ... All the guys here are so good, I think you can just read off each other, no matter who you're playing with.''

View Comments (19)
  • Ducks-Penguins Preview

    The Anaheim Ducks were making fools of the prognosticators during a horrible start after being a sexy pick to win the Stanley Cup following last season's deep playoff run. Anaheim seeks a seventh consecutive victory Monday night when it visits a … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 hours ago
  • Devils-Rangers Preview

    The New York Rangers value defenseman Ryan McDonagh's leadership just as much as his contributions on the ice, and losing him for any period of time would leave a major hole in the lineup. The 26-year-old captain is in danger of missing his first … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Okposo scores 3 as Isles rout Oilers 8-1

    Okposo scores 3 as Isles rout Oilers 8-1

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Kyle Okposo scored a hat trick after the Islanders opened a commanding early lead with three first-period goals as New York routed the last-place Edmonton Oilers 8-1 on Sunday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Habs top 'Canes on Andrighetto's SO goal

    Habs top 'Canes on Andrighetto's SO goal

    Ben Scrivens made big saves all weekend, helping the Montreal Canadiens to a weekend sweep. Scrivens finished with 34 saves and stopped all five Carolina players in the shootout, lifting the Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the Hurricanes on Sunday. … More »

    AP - Sports - 8 hours ago
  • Andrighetto shootout goal lift Canadiens over Hurricanes 2-1 to sweep weekend

    Andrighetto shootout goal lift Canadiens over Hurricanes 2-1 to sweep weekend

    The Montreal Canadiens may have found themselves a goalie. For a second game in a row, the acrobatic Scrivens allowed only one goal as Montreal downed the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Sven Andrighetto's shootout tally on Sunday afternoon. Scrivens … More »

    The Canadian Press - 8 hours ago