Player: Sidney Crosby
Born: August 8, 1987 (Age 35 season)
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 200 pounds
Hometown: Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada
Draft: 2005 NHL Draft, 1st round (1st overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
2022-23 Statistics: 82 games played, 33 goals, 60 assists = 93 points
Contract Status: Crosby has two years remaining on his original 12-year contract signed back in July 2012 that pays him $8.7 million per season. If he wishes to do so, he is eligible to sign another contract extension beginning July 1st, 2024.
Fun fact: Crosby will be on milestone watch again next season. He only needs 10 games played 1,200 mark and should easily surpass 1,000 career assists at some point too. Another season like this last one will have him knocking on the door of 1,600 points and 600 goals for his career.
Hidden Stat: For the 18th time in as many seasons, Sidney Crosby averaged over a point per game for a season, trailing only Wayne Gretzky (19) for the most in NHL history. Crosby also recorded his 11th 30 goal season, tying Mario Lemieux for the most in franchise history.
History: 2021-22: 96% A, 3% B; 2020-21: 78% A, 20% B; 2019-20: 25% A, 69% B; 2018-19: 99% A.
A slow October was wiped away by a vintage Crosby November then is was just standard Sid the rest of the way. A lot was made about his production seemingly taking a step back over the final weeks of the season but he was still hovering right around a point per game pace over that time frame.
Story of the Season
Another season of just about what you expect from the Penguins captain. Even at 35, Crosby continues to produce at an historic pace and his efforts this season were nearly enough to drag this team to an undeserved playoff spot. His 93 points were good enough to extend his career points per game streak to 18 seasons and marked his highest output since he hit the century mark in 2018-19.
Continued work with Jake Guentzel on his left combined with a mix of Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell on his right gave Crosby a wealth of goal scorers to distribute to, satisfying his pass first tendency. His 60 assists were good for 14th in the league and ranks as the fifth highest assist output of his career.
Goal scoring wise, Crosby notched his second straight 30-goal campaign, potting 33 tallies, good for second on the team behind linemate Jake Guentzel. Together the Penguins duo combined for 69 goals that accounted for over a quarter of the team’s goals this season.
Depth issues forced the Penguins top guns to carry a heavy load this year and Crosby was right there leading the way just as he is every season as he continues to defy Father Time and rack up the statistics.
Regular season 5v5 advanced stats
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Ranking is out of 16 forwards on the team who qualified by playing a minimum of 150 minutes.
Corsi For%: 54.4% (4th)
Goals For%: 56.8% (1st)
xGF%: 55.5% (6th)
Scoring Chance %: 55.3% (3rd)
High Danger Scoring Chance%: 56.4% (6th)
5v5 on-ice shooting%: 9.08% (1st)
On-ice save%: .924% (6th)
Goals/60: 1.06 (2nd)
Assist/60: 1.6 (1st)
Points/60: 2.66 (1st)
To no surprise Crosby ranks at or near the top when it comes to the analytics. Crosby has always been strong in his underlying numbers and this season was no different. He remains on offensive force and when he’s on the ice the Penguins are getting good possession metrics which eventually leads to good production numbers in the box score.
A whole lot of time spent with Jake Guentzel leads to pretty good results up and down the board. Add in a mixture of Rickard Rakell and Bryan Rust and you give Crosby plenty of options on the wing.
A slight up tick in WAR from last season to this season but other than that not much has changed for Crosby across the board here. His finishing did improve which is out of the norm for many Penguins this season but to produce offense like he does the finishing has to be there and it was this season.
Age doesn’t matter to Crosby who remains a tremendous offensive force on the ice. It’s a true shame his efforts went wasted this season given the level he is still producing at even as he approaches two decades in the NHL.
So much of Crosby’s best work still happens around the net front. He’ll shoot the puck from anywhere in the zone but he’s a menace in tight which has been his signature since coming into the league. Goalies are going to love when he’s no longer playing.
It’s not surprising how much of an impact Crosby has on the Penguins offense. He’s their leading scorer year in and year out but these charts demonstrate just how much of an impact he has on what the team does in the offensive zone.
Simply Sidsational.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 23, 2023
With this goal, Sidney Crosby hits the 30-goal milestone for his 11th season. Only 19 other players in NHL history have accomplished this feat. He also ties Mario Lemieux for the most 30-goal campaigns in team history. pic.twitter.com/rBOw83V7wQ
Here's a montage of 2023 Sidney Crosby stealing the puck from everyone all over the ice and continuing to be dominant at all phases of the game at 35 years old. Shame on you for six weeks if you've missed the work he's putting in this season. pic.twitter.com/WQOBHRviBf— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) March 22, 2023
Elite company— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 8, 2023
Fastest players to 1,500 points:
1. Wayne Gretzky
2. Mario Lemieux
3. Marcel Dionne
4. Jaromir Jagr
5. Phil Esposito
6. Sidney Crosby
7. Steve Yzerman pic.twitter.com/mxLnf0On98
Sidney Crosby has goals in four-consecutive games vs. the Flyers, the longest active scoring streak against them in the league. pic.twitter.com/rngmaHDK5s— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 11, 2023
Does Sidney Crosby have the best backhand in the league? pic.twitter.com/sbRXOondJv— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) April 8, 2023
70 points for Sidney Crosby!— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 27, 2023
Crosby becomes the first active player, and 14th player in NHL history to record 13 or more 70-point campaigns. pic.twitter.com/ioA1tNr4Cq
SIDNEY CROSBY WINS IT IN OT AFTER THE PENS WERE DOWN 4-0 pic.twitter.com/xbZc2plB5t— ESPN (@espn) March 8, 2023
sidney crosby is one of the smartest players of all-time. this pass is just an absolute work of art pic.twitter.com/yMG1IhOPRJ— ego (@notmalkinego) February 15, 2023
There’s a lot of blame to go around for the Penguins’ failures this season but none can be laid at the feet of the captain who did everything in his power to keep the team in the playoff mix until the very end.
You can’t ask for much more than your best player putting up 93 points at the age of 35 and in his 18th season. Crosby held up his end of the bargain but was let down by teammates who could not provide the necessary secondary scoring to help get the Penguins over the hump and into the playoffs.
Crosby has set the bar for himself time and time again and still manages to meet those lofty expectations. He will be 36 when the puck drops on the 2023-24 season but the expectations will remain the same. Not only will Crosby be the Penguins best player he will continue to be one of the best players in the league in what will be his 19th NHL season.
Posting a 100 point season may not be in the cards anymore but with Crosby never say never. He’s surely not going to post Connor McDavid numbers but for the Penguins to be competitive he doesn’t have to. Another season like the one that just passed will keep the Penguins right in the hunt but maybe this time his teammates will do a bit more to make his effort worth it the end.
How would you grade Sidney Crosby’s 2022-23 season?
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