He's had a great year. But the last two weeks won't make any Sidney Crosby highlight reels.
A non-factor for much of the series against Montreal, Crosby was flat-out lousy in game seven, as the Penguins' season came to an early and unexpected end.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ron Cook is among those taking aim at the home team with both barrels:
I wrote the other day that I was betting on Crosby in Game 7. Good thing I didn't do it in the literal sense. I would be broke. As it is, I'm merely embarrassed for being so wrong. If Crosby were a racehorse, he would have finished well up the track.
Frustration in Pittsburgh is to be expected.
It will be more interesting to see how the rest of the hockey world responds in the days to come.
To this point, the media has taken it easy on Canada's golden boy.
But not everyone was quite so supportive. And now that the Pens have been kicked to the curb by a team they were supposed to beat, you have to wonder how much blame the captain will take.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Crosby's chief rival took a tongue-lashing for failing to drag his team past Montreal.
Despite scoring ten points in seven games in Washington's stunning loss to the Canadiens, Alex Ovechkin was called out as a flawed player who needs to develop, and compared unfavorably to Crosby, who now stood "Alone at the Top."
Now those same Canadiens have sent the NHL's poster boy packing - and Crosby managed half as many points as Ovechkin.
So will he get a similar scolding?
Or will the media coddle its favorite, as Crosby-haters have so often claimed?
(Photo: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)