Sidney Crosby had 110 players help him become the 86th player in NHL history with 1,000 points. Crosby’s first NHL point was on a primary assist in setting up Mark Recchi for a power play goal against the New Jersey Devils on October 5, 2005.
His 1,000th point would come on February 16, 2016 with a primary assist on a Chris Kunitz goal. It was fitting Kunitz would play a part in Crosby’s 1,000th point. There hasn’t been a player over the years who Crosby loves playing with more as a linemate than Kunitz who has factored into 185 of Crosby’s points on his journey to 1,000.
On a special night for Crosby, it was also fitting his night would be capped off by scoring the overtime winner on a setup from Evgeni Malkin.
As Crosby and Malkin have formed arguably the best 1-2 center combo over the last 8-9 years, en route to multiple Stanley Cups and some hardware sprinkled in there, Malkin has factored into the most points of any player who has skated alongside Sidney Crosby, 262 points, now officially 263 points after the setup on the OT winner.
[“Hey Sid, I want to say congrats on your 1,000 points. It is a huge number. We both know that 999 of those points is because of my help. I have enjoyed playing with you. Every game, every night is so fun. Everyone knows that you are the best player.” — Evgeni Malkin]
[“He’s a tremendous player. The fact that he scored 1,000 points in the games  that he has, I think is just a testament to the player that he is and the character of the person. He’s an ultra-competitive guy. He loves to win.” — Mike Sullivan ]
Mark Recchi who factored into Sidney Crosby first career point and assist, (68 total points, 6th) was in attendance along with others like Sergei Gonchar who had some special times with Crosby as a teammate early in his career.
[“It’s pretty neat, you get a chance to play with him and you knew he was something special right away and is a great person. He comes in and brings you energy when you get a young guy like that. To see him get his couple, the assist, the goal, it’s pretty neat to be part of that.” — Mark Recchi]
Gonchar who played factored into the 4th most points, 116, on Crosby’s journey to 1,000, called Crosby the hardest working player he’s ever played with in quotes distributed by the team.
[“Sid, congrats on 1,000 points. It was great playing with you. You are the most dedicated and hard working player I’ve played with” — Sergei Gonchar]
The list of 110 players who contributed to Crosby’s 1,000 points is something else. You have the obvious ones, to a player like Ziggy Palffy who factored into 23 of Crosby’s 1,000 points while the two played together for a very short-time in 2005-2006 before Palffy quit on his team. They would have been really good together. My favorite one is Miki Dupont who has 4 career NHL points and one of those is an assist on a Sidney Crosby goal.
As many will say about Sidney Crosby, he’s an even better person than he is hockey player.
Penguins – Jets Fallout
– If felt like the hockey gods were smiling down on Marc Andre Fleury for last night’s game. Because of how bad of a trade market there is right now for Fleury, I for one gave little thought prior to the game that this might have been Fleury’s last home game of his Penguin career.
However, the way that game played out, I’m rethinking that maybe the hockey gods are giving Fleury a nice send off from Pittsburgh.
On a night where Fleury was spectacular, then you have the poor goal given up on the Dustin Byfuglien goal that saw the Penguins fall behind 3-2. That was really the type of goal against in that situation that has made Fleury such a polarizing player in this town.
It would have been a shame if Fleury’s final home game as a Penguin or even final start as a Penguin would have went down like that.
The Penguins then rally with a Phil Kessel power play goal and the rest is history with Fleury making a number of dazzling saves in OT and Crosby netting the winner.
44 Save performance from Fleury, multi-point games for Crosby/Malkin, goal from Kunitz, 3 assist night from Kris Letang, this felt like a game from 2010.
For Fleury, whether he has a great, average or bad game on any given night from here on out, it doesn’t change the reality of the situation. As Fleury was putting together a sparkling performance vs the Jets, twitter was filled with ‘this is why you don’t trade Fleury, need two good goaltenders, ect, type comments.’
If the Penguins can find a Fleury trade partner by March 1 that addresses a need for now or creates the needed cap space for next season or the season after where the Penguins can move that salary without keeping or taking much back, the Penguins have to make that trade right now.
Any resemblance of a fair trade emerges you do it when you have a goaltender in the caliber of Matt Murray that the Penguins have.
If not and it’s very possible Pittsburgh doesn’t even receive an offer for Fleury before the deadline, then the Penguins have to cross their fingers and hope they don’t get boxed into a corner before the expansion draft and have to take a bad trade or a buy-out.
Facts are the percentages are very low that you will need two goaltenders in the post-season. Last season was just a very rare occurrence with the injuries.
— Remember early last season of how awkward of a fit Phil Kessel was on the power play when the Penguins coaching staff under Mike Johnston failed to realize Kessel couldn’t shoot a one-timer, yet tried to use him like he was Alex Ovechkin?
Things have been figured out with Mike Sullivan at the helm. Now Kessel is becoming the catalyst of the Penguins power play on the left wall.