Sidney Crosby respects Thomas Vanek’s game. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Crosby believes ‘a lot of different things’ make Sabres superstar Vanek great

BUFFALO – With three straight pointless games entering Sunday’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sabres superstar Thomas Vanek is struggling a bit for the first time this season.

Still, the slick winger’s 11-goal, 23-point start has been dynamic. Count Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby among those who’ve noticed Vanek’s exploits.

“I’m pretty aware of how consistent he’s been,” Crosby said this afternoon following the Penguins’ practice inside the First Niagara Center.

In Crosby’s mind, what makes Vanek so good?

“I think there’s a lot of different things,” Crosby explained. “He’s got a great shot. He doesn’t need much time or space to put the puck in the net. He goes to the tough areas. He’ll go to the front of the net and score those gritty goals that you have to score. He’s patient. Sometimes he’ll hold the puck it seems like forever and then dish it off or find some way to kind of tuck it around the goalie.

“So his patience, when I think of him as a player, the patience that he has really sticks out in my mind.”

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