Pittsburgh Penguins Olympics Report Card: Grading The Performances In Sochi

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Sidney Crosby tucks his only goal of the Olympics past Sweden goalie Henrik Lundqvist in Canada’s 3-0 gold medal game victory Sunday. (Credit: USA Today Sports)

The 22nd Winter Olympics wrapped up in Russia as they always do, with the men’s gold medal hockey game on the closing Sunday.

After Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz both scored in Canada’s impressive 3-0 victory over Sweden, the Pittsburgh Penguins could boast that four of their seven players who competed in Sochi will bring medals back stateside. In addition to the gold draped around the necks of Crosby and Kunitz, Finland’s Jussi Jokinen and Olli Maatta took bronze home.

Since the Olympic athletes won’t return to Penguins practice until Wednesday, let’s take a look at how the they performed on the northern shore of the Black Sea:

Sidney Crosby: A-

For all the Canadian angst over captain Crosby’s meager two-assist total entering the gold medal game, every other aspect of his game was fully engaged throughout the tournament. The champs’ commitment to team defense was personified by Crosby, who set the perfect example by keeping his shifts short and employing a patient game on the wider international ice dimensions.

But we all know that Crosby separates himself by his ability to generate offense through a combination of elite skill and force of will. He was doing that quite well in Canada’s first five games, even though his tangible production was lacking. The decreased output could be explained by Kunitz’ and others’ inability to finish, a tournament that yielded remarkably few goals and plain old bad luck.

That trend turned around in the Olympic final, as Crosby scored a crushing breakaway goal in the second period and forced the turnover that led to Kunitz’ backbreaker in the third. Crosby didn’t light up the Olympics, but he did everything else to perfection.

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