Wayne Gretzky. Mario Lemieux. Mike Bossy. That’s it, that’s the list of players in NHL history with a better career points per game average than Sidney Crosby (1.42). While injuries have limited Crosby to only one scoring title and Hart Trophy in now going on his ninth NHL season. But there’s no doubt who the best hockey player in the world is. And second place isn’t even close.
Crosby is right back at it this season, putting up 12 points in the first six games of the season and helping to power the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-1-0 record, despite the injury absence of star players in James Neal and Kris Letang. No matter that, it isn’t about how the Penguins don’t currently have in the lineup, it’s about who they do have, and that would be Sidney Crosby.
It’s the GIF going ‘round the net right now in the hockey world, and it’s too impressive not for us to grab as well. Crosby, while flying up the center of the ice barely breaks stride to kick the puck up to himself and then quickly dishes it over to Pascal Dupuis to stay on-sides and open up a ton of room. The puck would end up in the net on this sequence, when Crosby got the puck back for a shot, swooped around the net and converged with his other winger, Chris Kunitz, to jam it home.
It’s Crosby’s genius in a nutshell. Speed, vision, other-worldly skill. And it’s a treasure to watch, and something we should all keep in mind. Except for one unfortunate deflected puck to the jaw, Crosby has been injury incident free for almost two full years now.
It's never without bumps in the road- last night Crosby's tongue was bloodied by Andrew Ference's stick, leading to the power play that Evgeni Malkin would score the eventual game winner on. Setup on a play where Crosby made a brilliant cross-ice, no-look pass to Paul Martin. Everything is earned and nothing is given in hockey, so who’s to say if Crosby will play 7 or 77 games this season, just like virtually any other NHL player in the league. As we’ve seen, nothing is promised or a given in terms of end of season awards and honors.
But for now, it’s just worth marveling at the best player in his sport work his magic without any constraints. Whether it lasts a week, month or all season, Sidney Crosby is in full gear and he’s once again pulling the Penguins to the top of the league. And we’re all just happy to be along for the ride.