Sidney Crosby is unreal.
I mean, we knew that. We’ve known that for years. But even now, he’s still finding new ways to be awesome.
This year, it just so happens to be by scoring goals. With two tallies last night, he’s the first NHLer of the 2016-17 season to hit 20 goals. And in just 22 games, no less; imagine where he’d be if he had been able to start the season on time?
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the fastest Crosby has ever hit 20. Not just that; this is the fastest anyone has hit 20 goals since Alex Ovechkin in 2013-14, and scoring goals is kind of what he’s best known for. Crosby’s previous record was 20 goals in 27 games in 2010-11 (he scored 32 that year in a 41-game season for him; was on pace for 64).
First, the bad news: he’s shooting at 26.3%. Crosby’s career average is 14.8%. As good as he is, this probably isn’t going to last.
Now, the good news: he’s still shooting at a rate of 3.45 shots per game. That’s a higher rate than he’s shot in the past two seasons. While the goal scoring might lighten up, the chances certainly won’t, which means the goals should still keep coming regardless. Maybe just a little less often.
Crosby’s career high is 51 goals in the 2009-10 season. Coincidentally, this season also so happens to be off the back of a Cup win. Can he do it again, seven years later? Fifty-four games to score another 30 goals? If he returns to his career average shooting rate, he’s in line for 39, which would match his career second highest total from his rookie year... But hey, lots can happen in 54 games.
He missed the first six games of the season; he’s tied for third in NHL scoring with 31 points. There’s still a lot more to come.