During the 1994-1995 shortened season of 48 games, Eric Lindros and Jaromir Jagr both led the league with 70 points. Jagr averaged 1.46 points per game and Lindros who missed two games, averaged 1.52 points per game.
Will Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both top 70 points in 2013?
Malkin who comes into this season already playing a half season in the KHL, averaged 1.45 points per game in 2011-2012 during his Art Ross Trophy winning season. Playing all 48 games and remaining on the same points per game, pace Malkin would have a 70 point season.
In his career, Malkin has averaged 1.45 points per game in 2011-2012, 0.86 points per game in 2010-2011, 1.14 points in 2009-2010, 1.38 points per game in 2008-2009, 1.29 points per game in 2007-2008 and 1.09 points per game in 2006-2007.
Despite Malkin coming into the season in game ready shape, is Sidney Crosby the better bet to top 70 and lead the league in scoring?
The last season Crosby played in over 40 games was in 2010-2011 when Crosby had 66 points in 41 games. As Bill Guerin said in December 2010, what Crosby was doing was an assault on the game.
During that season, Crosby averaged 1.61 points per game and was on pace for a career high of 132 points.
Last season limited to 22 games and never at full strength, Crosby had 37 points in 22 games and his points per game was even higher, averaging 1.68 points per game. Over a 48 game season, that projects to 81 points.
Since the 2010-2011 season, Crosby has appeared in 63 games, averaging 1.63 points per game.
Crosby’s last full season in 2009-2010, he averaged 1.34 points per game, the same mark he averaged in 2008-2009 when he appeared in 77 games.
Is a 1.60 points per game or higher average too much to expect for over 48 games? Possibly but projecting Crosby to average between 1.50 – 1.55 points per game is an accurate projection based on his ability to rack up points the last two years.
Sidney Crosby – 70 points in 46 games.
Evgeni Malkin – 66 points in 47 games