What Sets Crosby Apart
Extending his points streak to 12 games and tallying his 6th regular season hat trick to take over the NHL points lead with 40, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby continues to amaze his teammates in his 6th NHL season.
“I’ve seen him for three years and I’m still like… ‘Oh, my gosh. It’s pretty unbelievable, ” Penguins defenseman Alex Goligoski said in his post-game comments.
Collecting 12 goals and 13 assists for 25 points in his last 12 games, there’s a strong argument that Crosby is playing his best all around hockey of his career.
Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter said it best when describing Crosby’s game this afternoon, following Calgary’s 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh.
“An elite-level player like him has great creativity in his game and a tremendous skill set,” Sutter said. “It’s because of his work ethic, and how hard he plays every shift.”
Sutter’s second statement regarding Crosby’s “work ethic” and “how hard he plays every shift” is what sets Crosby above the rest. That what makes Crosby a rare superstar in all of sports, due to his drive and determination on a daily basis whether it’s practices or games.
Crosby is always determined to keep getting better and better and there are only a few select superstars in all of sports who have the determination and competitiveness Crosby does. Kobe Bryant of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers is one of the few who come to mind.
Crosby’s desire to be the best has set him far apart from just as talented players and even teammate Evgeni Malkin who was neck and neck and quite possibly the better player just a few seasons ago.
Inside the Numbers
Crosby three goal game against Calgary was a milestone game for him as he reached the 200 goal plateau in 396 games.
Crosby became the 6th fastest active player to reach 200 goals. Alex Ovechkin is first among active players, scoring No. 200 in game 296. Ovechkin is followed by Teemu Selanne 322, Ilya Kovalchuk 385, Dany Heatley 385, Mark Recchi 393 and now Sidney Crosby 396.
Mario Lemieux is first in Penguins history reaching the 200 goal mark in just his 277th game. Lemieux collected No. 200 in the midst of his 4th NHL season.
Here are some remarkable numbers; After five NHL seasons (1984/85 – 1988/89), Lemieux had 300 goals in 368 career games. After six NHL seasons, Lemieux had 345 goals in 427 games as back problems limited him to just 59 games in 1989-1990.
If Lemieux stays healthy and the back problems never arise, there’s no doubt he puts together a 5-to-7 year run of 70-to-80+ goals per season with the offensive cast he had around him.
The best offensive player and pure goal scorer to ever play the game.
Back to Crosby……Crosby’s 200 goals in 396 games does not rank second in Penguins history. Crosby hit the mark in his 6th NHL season just like future hall of famer Jaromir Jagr, but Crosby did reach the mark faster than Jagr.
Kevin Stevens collected 200 goals, 33 games faster than Crosby, recording his 200th goal in his 363rd game which is a great feat for one of the best power forwards in his era.
Stevens scored No. 200 just 15 games into the 1993-1994 season. Stevens had a tremendous four year run from 1990-1991 through 1993-1994, scoring 190 goals during that span after tallying 46 goals in his first 116 games of his career (1987 – 1990).
Jaromir Jagr scored No. 200 in game 413 as Crosby beat the former Penguin great by 17 games. Crosby like Jagr did not develop into one of the games premier goal scorers until several seasons into his career.
Evgeni Malkin is next up to reach the 200 goal plateau. Malkin has 151 goals in 332 games. Malkin needs to score 49 goals in his next 64 games to match or beat Crosby’s mark of 200 goals in 396 games.