Player: Sidney Crosby
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 200 pounds
Birthplace: Cole Harbour, NS, Canada
Draft: 2005 PIT, 1st Round (1st Overall)
Contract status: Crosby’s contract (at a $8.7 million cap hit) continues through the 2024-25 season, at which point he will be a few months shy of his 38th birthday.
The past: Last season, Crosby commanded 80% of the Pensburgh vote for an “A or A+”. 2017-18 was a frustrating one for Crosby, whose on-ice shooting % cratered for unknown and unlucky reasons, dragging down his norms a bit (but just a bit) as far as point production.
Regular Season History
Great year all around for Crosby, who (knock on wood) it should be noted made it through a sixth straight season of practically full health. For a player with so many injury concerns at the early half of this decade it certainly is a welcome turn of events to see him make it through relatively unscathed again, and note he’s averaged 79 games over the past six seasons.
And it was a successful year, a boost in scoring - recording the most assists and points he’s registered in a campaign since 2013-14. His faceoff numbers are up to about elite status north of 55%, just good things about everywhere you look.
Sidney Crosby has been named a finalist for the Hart Trophy for the third time in the last four years and fifth time in the previous seven seasons.— Penguins PR (@PenguinsPR) April 28, 2019
Congratulations, Sid! #Pens pic.twitter.com/9OQaLa9MOe
Coach Sullivan: "Crosby is the best 200-foot player in the game. Without a doubt he should be in the conversation [for the Selke Trophy]... I think his defensive game gets overlooked because of how good he is offensively."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 1, 2019
A Selke-worthy season for Sid: https://t.co/AWKMOuG3b9 pic.twitter.com/s2nnzmBbsi
A special player like Crosby can use special markers to measure up if it’s been a good season or not, and being nominated (and winning) end-of-year league awards is the way it happens for Sid. This year he’s a finalist for the Hart Trophy for NHL MVP for the fifth time in the last seven years.
Crosby isn’t expected to win the award — he ranks second based on what the Vegas odds say — but he almost certainly will be named to the first or second team NHL All-Star team for the eight time.
Crosby started the 2018-19 season with 1,116 points, 62nd all-time in NHL league history. Tack on the 100 he earned this season to get to 1,216 and he’s now up to 43rd place all-time, with absolute legends of the game in his sights.
This season alone Crosby surpassed the following players: Bobby Clarke, Sergei Fedorov, Nicklas Lidstrom, Bobby Hull, Mike Bossy and Darryl Sittler, among other hall of famers that he is now in the midst of, and passing all the time.
Crosby is also second place among all active NHLers in scoring currently, with first place Joe Thornton facing a currently undecided NHL future, so there’s a chance Sid could assume his position as the league’s highest active scorer.
With his next point, Crosby will pull into a tie for 42nd place with former Penguin Larry Murphy, and be two points back of the legendary Jean Beliveau as Sid continues his climb into the pantheon of all-time greats.
Sid is 507 career points behind Mario Lemieux, and with six seasons remaining on his current contract would have to average 84.5 points/season to pass Lemieux. (With always the possibility that he could sign another contract as well). At this point, Mario’s all-time franchise records are a ways off, but pretty much attainably so given the pace Crosby is scoring at.
Crosby is 374 points away from becoming 10th all time in NHL scoring, which again while it won’t be a milestone on the near horizon it certainly feels like it’s coming into focus fairly quickly.
Crosby had a strong year possession-wise, especially relative to his teammates who did not have a particularly strong season.
Have to give the Islanders team defense and goaltending a lot of credit, they were able to keep Crosby off the scoresheet almost completely in an unfortunate time for a cold streak. Whether it was the aggressive forechecking, a persistent defense, tough goaltending, the Isles’ frustrated no one any more than they did Crosby and Guentzel for what turned out to be a stunningly short series.
As expected, an incredible split of production and consistency. The Pens started the year slow but Crosby (13 goals and 15 assists in the first 21 games) was doing his part. Across the board we have 30-40 shots per month and steady scoring in 20 minutes a game, with strong face off results every month but one. There was also one little hiccup in January when the power play scoring went away for a stretch.
Crosby scored 57 points in 45 games before the All-Star break (1.26 points/game) and followed it up with 43 points in 34 games after the break (1.26 points/game). A finely tuned watch couldn’t be any more precise and consistent.
Sid’s at 1.29 points/game over his entire career, so even this year in his age-31 season with the ice pretty wide open and scoring high across the league, Crosby is as dangerous and producing as much as his career norm. Put plainly, he’s getting older but certainly not yet aging out as a top-scoring player in the league.
This is just humorous, Crosby is off the charts productive and without him the Pens are dull, with him they are good.
Lots of Jake Guentzel there in red as a steady Crosby LW. The right rotated a lot, mostly Bryan Rust but a bit more Jared McCann as the season went on.
That’s a thing of beauty.
Sidney Crosby: makes people better! Who knew?
This one is fun, as goalies all over the league know, you have to be razor sharp at every moment because Sidney Crosby can and will shoot from any angle on the ice, at any time. In recent years Crosby has been like an artist toying with the league on how to score on deflections, baseball bat-like swings, banking in goals from behind the line, playing the puck off the goalie’s back or head. Just total mastery of how to create wonderful plays.
Sidney Crosby’s ridiculous OT winner vs the Oilers.— Jake n’ Bake (@guentzelego) April 28, 2019
October 23, 2019.
Crosby received a Hart trophy nomination today. pic.twitter.com/FoTbK9DMJG
I hope Sidney Crosby feels proud of himself for scoring this goal on Carter Hart. Typical coward move of Crosby to score when Hart wasn't even looking. pic.twitter.com/tKhyx7I2G1— Jordie (@BarstoolJordie) February 12, 2019
Sidney Crosby lays up the perfect lob pass for Jake Guentzel, who then puts on a show of his own. Penguins win 3-2 in OT. Crosby now has 24 points in his last 11 games and seven in his last two. Home and home with Columbus looming with 87 on a league-wide shock and awe campaign. pic.twitter.com/A2ghq4k39R— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) March 6, 2019
That pass. Oh baby. That pass. pic.twitter.com/83WPiodSh1— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 25, 2018
THAT'S OUR CAPTAIN.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 3, 2019
Sidney Crosby records his 440th NHL goal, passing Jaromir Jagr for the 2nd-most in franchise history.
Crosby now has goals in four-straight games. pic.twitter.com/A5smZjQvWU
sidney crosby’s first career goal against marc andre fleury pic.twitter.com/ZHAFtlGRg1— Penguins Jesus (@PenguinsJesus) January 20, 2019
Nifty fact: Sidney Crosby now has 20 goals for the 12th time in his career, tying Mario Lemieux for most 20 goal seasons in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/itlri0oQU4— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 9, 2019
Sidney Crosby = Super Human— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 8, 2018
Crosby’s goal gives him 10 points (6G-4A) in 7 road games this season. He has recorded at least a point in 6 of 7 of those games. pic.twitter.com/SqflEwuMaj
Nasty angle on this Sidney Crosby goal pic.twitter.com/uzstOPG8ux— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) October 26, 2018
Sidney Crosby scored the 439th regular-season goal of his NHL career (all w/ PIT) and tied Jaromir Jagr for second place on the @penguins’ all-time list. #NHLStats #PITvsBUF pic.twitter.com/7yf4rbuCDt— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 2, 2019
Crosby and Jake Guentzel keep it rolling and the year looks like this one, with a run at 100 points and more nods for Hart and Selke trophies as a great two-way player making an impact all over the ice.
The great thing about a beyond-generational type talent in Sidney Crosby is that unlike for 99% of the league, the realistic outcome is probably close to the ideal. You can count on Crosby having a great season already next year, barring something strange happening.
Worst Case 2019-20
For good reason, everyone is over-protective about injury, though as mentioned above it’s been over six years since Crosby has suffered a major injury, and even that was freaky and bad luck (a broken jaw in 2013 from a deflected shot). There’s also the case like in 2017-18 that shooting percentages could produce an extended cold streak, but usually Crosby is too talented and generates too much for the bounces not to go his way sooner than later.
There’s also the chance that Mike Sullivan’s system keeps morphing into Mike Johnston’s ill-advised “200 foot game” that he wanted from Crosby. That stretch lead to some horrible offensive seasons and Crosby had to play too much in his own end and didn’t have the support of teammates and system to be able and shift gears to offense. Crosby is a great two-way player, but worth more doing things that no one else can do in the offensive zone, not collapsing down low as an outlet option because the team is stocked with players who aren’t capable enough to move the puck.
With the emergence of players like Nikita Kucherov and Connor McDavid, will Crosby ever win a scoring title again? Who is best on Sid’s right wing?
Grade Sidney Crosby’s 2018-19 season
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