Jim Rutherford

Sidney Crosby is still king of the NHL

Sidney Crosby is still king of the NHL

When Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins visited Southern California last December, he ranked 86th in scoring and his star-studded team was stuck in the middle of the NHL pack. 

Crosby, twice a league scoring champion and twice an Olympic gold medalist, looked shockingly ordinary. The Penguins, expected to be a powerhouse, appeared to be headed nowhere after losses to the Kings and the Ducks. Impatient fans began searching for the next Sidney Crosby, convinced the current model was outmoded. 

According to the calendar, that visit was not quite 11 months ago. By another measure, it was one coaching change and one Stanley Cup championship ago for the Penguins and...