Crosby led the NHL with 104 points to win his second Art Ross Trophy. The point total was the third-highest of his nine-year career and the most since he had 109 during the 2009-10 season. He also won a gold medal for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, participated in the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series against the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field and leads the Penguins into an Eastern Conference First Round matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets starting Wednesday.
"When you're playing that much you don't have a lot of time to think about things," Crosby said. "With the amount of injuries we had, we had a lot of new players and personally it was good to get in a full season. A lot of different things, a lot of different experiences, but all in all this is when you want to be playing this time of year, so I'm excited for [the playoffs]."
The Penguins were 5-0-0 against Blue Jackets this season, but Crosby is impressed with their work ethic and depth.
"They don't rely on one line specifically, although they have a pretty good top line there," Crosby said. "Just the way they play as a unit. We've had some close games and both teams should know about one another."
The regular season has ended and the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have Mike Bolt, the keeper of the Cup, on set to talk about some of his favorite moments with Lord Stanley's cherished trophy.
The New York Rangers open up the playoffs Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, and we'll have Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh on set to talk about his recovery from injury and hopes for the postseason.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will get started Wednesday night with Game 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and League scoring leader Sidney Crosby will talk about making another run at a title in the Steel City.
Also, E.J. and Craig Button will face off as they discuss the first-round series matchups.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, is set for the announcement of the Hobey Baker Award for college hockey's best player. The presentation will be at 6 p.m. and college hockey insider Julie Robenhymer joins the show to talk about the winner and college free agents who could be signed prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Brendan Shanahan is leaving the NHL to become the president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs and we'll talk to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly about Shanahan's time with the League.
Seven games dot the NHL schedule for Friday night, including the Washington Capitals hosting the Chicago Blackhawks. Analyst Eddie Olczyk joins us from the Arena Cam at Verizon Center to talk about what's going to happen in Washington in the wake of the Capitals missing the playoffs, as well as what's ahead for the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.
Columbus advanced to the postseason for the second time in franchise history after a 3-1 win Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.
"It was a good win for us, obviously, it's been a good journey for us," Davidson said. "I think when we try to analyze our season it was a bit of a roller coaster, but the guys have earned everything they've gotten. I'm really proud of the effort by our players and our staff, and they garnered a whole bunch of experience. We're young and this is the type of experience you need to go forward.
"It's all been good. It's been a lot of fun."
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Thursday April 10th:
E.J.'s Season Record: 315-195-70
Colorado Avalanche center Gabriel Landeskog joined NHL Live to discuss the remarkable season it's been in Denver. At 51-21-7, the Avalanche are two points behind the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues and 7-0-1 in their past eight games.
"We're certainly feeling how the playoffs are coming closer every day," Landeskog said. "We know that these last games are important, though. We know we have a lot to play for, still, and certainly want to finish off the right way before going into the playoffs.
Famed hockey photographer Bruce Bennett joined NHL Live via the Arena Cam before working the 5,000th game of his career Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum, where the New York Islanders played the Ottawa Senators.
"I'm ready for 5,000 and I'm ready for another 5,000 -- well, maybe not 5,000," Bennett said. "But I've got a few more left in me. It's still fun. I still love the sport, [the] athletes are great. I plan on continuing for a few more years anyway."
Bennett has come a long way since he was an 18-year-old kid shooting for The Hockey News for $4 a picture.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday on NHL Network, welcomes in two-time Stanley Cup winning forward Grant Marshall to break down the races for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With six days left in the regular season there are 10 games on the schedule Tuesday. Famed photographer Bruce Bennett will be at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for his 5,000th game as the New York Islanders host the Ottawa Senators, and we'll talk to him live via the Arena Cam.
At 38-29-11, the Stars lead the Phoenix Coyotes by a point for the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ruff lauded the trade that brought forward Tyler Seguin to Dallas, and the chemistry he developed with linemate Jamie Benn, as major reasons why the Stars are in the postseason hunt in the final week of the regular season.