PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – NBC Sports NHL analyst Pierre McGuire joined “The Fan Morning Show” on Wednesday to talk about the Penguins, as he prepares to call their game against the Canadiens as part of NBC Sports Network’s Wednesday Night Rivalry broadcast.
McGuire addressed the struggles of Sidney Crosby, who is currently on pace for just 12 goals and 41 points this season.
McGuire thinks Crosby’s struggles can be traced back to one area. McGuire stressed repeatedly that Crosby needs to dominate the puck.
“He’s got to start dominating the puck,” McGuire said. “The strength of Sidney Crosby has always been his ability to dominate the puck, and when he dominates the puck, he forces defensemen off the line, he creates time and space for not only himself, but for players that play on his line.”
McGuire said that there was tangible evidence of how Crosby’s play made players around him perform better in the past, something that hasn’t been there as much this season.
“That’s one of the reasons that Kunitz has done as well as he has over the years playing with Sid,” McGuire said. “That’s why Dupuis did as well as he did over the years playing with Sid. Sid has the ability to dominate the puck, and make people around him better. That’s the real sign of a star player.”
Having watched Crosby for years, McGuire is confident that this is the part of his game that has been missing during this rough patch.
“Sid’s not dominating the puck like I’m used to seeing him dominate,” McGuire said. “I go back to watching him when he was 14, 15 years old, so I have a pretty good sample size on the guy. When he dominates the puck, he is as elite a player as there is anywhere in the world. The problem is he’s not dominating the puck right now.”
The interview can be heard here: