TORONTO – Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford understands the concern.
Sidney Crosby has just seven points in 14 games, and just two goals. He’s also a minus-6. For his career, in the first 14 games of any season, Crosby has 60 goals and 117 assists and was a plus-22.
“I know why it’s a story, so I’m not saying it’s a non-story,” said Rutherford. “But there’s certainly no concern.”
The way the Pittsburgh general manager sees it, Crosby’s played well, but just hasn’t found results on the score sheet.
“He’s played the game in both ends of the rink. He had bad luck the other night with a big minus, but it wasn’t his doing,” said Rutherford, citing Crosby’s minus-4 against the Calgary Flames. “And he has set a lot of chances up that haven’t been converted. And we played really good goalies early on.”
The Penguins started out their season with three straight losses, but roared back to win nine out of 10 games.
“The slow start wasn’t because we we’re playing well. We opened in Dallas. We played in Phoenix, came home to play Montreal, and the goalie was the first star in all three games,” said Rutherford. “It’s just more of a matter of we found a way to win games. And we made some adjustments as guys got more used to each other.”
The Penguins are 9-5-0 with a goal differential of plus-3.
“We’re getting closer to where we should be as a team. But we’re still a few levels away from where we should be,” said Rutherford.
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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.