SAN JOSE, Calif. – Sidney Crosby’s place among the all-time greats is still a work in progress. But he might already be hockey’s greatest collector of hockey trophies and championships.
The NHL All-Star MVP trophy was one of the few honors that the Pittsburgh Penguins star didn’t have, and he added it Saturday by leading the Metropolitan Division to victory. The Metropolitan Division defeated the Central Division 10-5 in the final to pick up $1 million in prize money.
“I didn’t need to win a car in order to have a good time, but it was certainly fun,” said Crosby who had five points in the championship game and four goals and four assists in the two-game tournament.
Crosby had previously won three Stanley Cups (winning playoff MVP twice), two Olympic gold medals, a World Cup championship (he was named MVP) and a World Championship. He also won two scoring titles, two goal-scoring titles and was voted league MVP five times, three times by players and twice by writers.
He said he didn’t think about being All-Star MVP until there was about six or seven minutes left when he saw on the video screen that he was among four players people were voting for.
“That’s when it crossed my mind,” he said. “That’s when guys started saying some stuff.”
What’s left on his bucket list? How about the Selke Trophy, which is given to the best defensive forward?
“I’d like to be in the conversation, for sure,” he said. “I think your play has to earn that. … I definitely want to be known as a player who is responsible defensively. I want to be good offensively, but do it the right way.”
Here are the other winners and losers of the All-Star weekend:
Winner: U.S. women’s hockey. On Friday, 2018 U.S. women’s Olympian Kendall Coyne Schofield finished seventh out of eight in the fastest skater competition. On Saturday, hockey equipment manufacturer CCM gave her Olympic teammate Brianna Decker $25,000 because her time while demonstrating the passing contest Saturday was better than Leon Draisaitl’s winning time.
Loser:Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson. The poor guy probably hoped he could have a relaxing All-Star weekend after all of the tension he has faced with the Ducks this season. Instead, he gave up seven goals in nine shots in the Pacific Division’s 10-4 loss to the Central Division. The San Jose crowd started chanting for Marc-Andre Fleury to replace him. While the Ducks have struggled this season, Gibson was the NHL’s top goalie in the first half of the season. He was able to laugh off the rough night. “We felt bad for him because it wasn’t his fault,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said, noting, “I’d like to see you stop 2-on-1s.”
Winner: New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The talk coming into All-Star weekend is that young players were taking over the game. At 36, Lundqvist showed he’s still king, winning in the Skills Competition and helping lead the Metropolitan Division to victory. “I look forward to going back to New York and seeing my teammates and getting back to work,” Lundqvist said. “There’s a big stretch for us coming up. This energized me.”
Loser: NHL/NHLPA puck-tracking system. The league and players union have worked hard to create a fresh, modern system for tracking the puck and players. In early reviews by fans on social media, a significant collection said they didn’t like it when NBC used the technology during Saturday night’s telecast. But let’s give this some time before we pass final judgment.
Winner: Edmonton Oilers. After going 2-6-2 in their last 10 and firing general manager Peter Chiarelli, the Oilers needed All-Star weekend to clear everyone’s heads. Their two representatives – Connor McDavid (fastest skater) and Leon Draisaitl (passing) – won Skills Competition events. Because it is the Oilers’ bye week, they don’t play again until Feb. 2. They are only three points out of a playoff spot.
Loser: Calgary Flames. The All-Star break couldn’t come at a worse time for the NHL’s hottest team. The Flames are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. The last thing they wanted was a break. They don’t want to lose their momentum. To make the situation worse, the Flames are now going into their bye week. They don’t play again until Feb. 1 against the Washington Capitals.