Just over 10 years in the NHL — 998 points in 753 games. For anyone unfamiliar with Sidney Crosby’s work during his time as a Pittsburgh Penguin, those stats alone should be enough to impress. And did I mention that he’ll turn 30 years old this year? He’s come quite a ways, and he’s got much, much more in store…
Happening Quicker Than Imagined
Regarding Crosby’s upcoming 1,000th point, I was told prior to the season, by a skeptical Pens fan, “He’ll get it in March, maybe even as late as April.” Of course, even the most optimistic fan probably didn’t see the absolute tear that Crosby would go on during the opening months of the season.
I’ll be honest, when that fan remarked that Crosby’s milestone point total might wane into late spring, I didn’t immediately defend the Penguin captain. For all he did during his Conn Smythe-winning performance in last year’s playoffs, to the World Cup of Hockey championship, I looked more closely at his regular season to formulate an opinion.
“Was Crosby slipping a bit during the season?” I often wondered.
“Maybe he’s finally at an age where he’ll take the regular season less seriously than the playoffs.” I found myself rationalizing his ever-so-slight drop off in production with quips like that.
Then he comes out of nowhere to lead the league in goals-scored. Not to mention, he’s currently tied with Connor McDavid for the league lead in points. So much for my conventional wisdom.
Marching to 1,000
On their current road trip, the Penguins are making stops in Colorado (tonight) and Arizona (Saturday). Crosby, being driven by absolutely everything and anything that has to do with hockey, won’t publicly display his desire to quickly pass this milestone. Nonetheless, it will drive him.
He’s always been a player that uses anything he can imagine to motivate him. Frequently being called the hardest working player on the team (perhaps the league), it’s hard to imagine that despite his soft-spoken nature, that he doesn’t have this achievement squarely in his crosshairs.
If that isn’t enough, he can’t be happy with his recent performance against the Calgary Flames. Yes, he inched closer to 1,000 points with an assist, but early in the game, he had a magnificent opportunity to sneak a shot past goaltender Chad Johnson and give the Pens an early lead.
That didn’t happen (see the video below). And that’s news for the Pens’ upcoming opponents.
Even though he’s *only* scored 10 points in his last eight games (a tick below his early-season pace) he’s going to get those two points on this road trip.
And when he does, No. 87 will be the 86th player in the league to ever score 1,000 points. Here’s hoping it happens sooner than later!