Sid the Kid erupted for a career-high six points in the 8-4 victory and moved into top spot in the NHL’s scoring race.
“I kind of told myself, ‘Oh, there’s maybe a chance,”‘ Crosby said Monday during a conference call.
Crosby would not relinquish his hold on the scoring lead after that. The native of Cole Harbour, N.S., finished with 120 points in 79 games to become the youngest player to win the Art Ross Trophy. Last year’s scoring champion, San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton, was second with 114 points.
Crosby, who turns 20 on Aug. 7, also beat the mark set by Wayne Gretzky, who was 20 years and three months old when he recorded 164 points for his first Art Ross in 1980-81.
“It’s an accomplishment,” Crosby said. “To pass him is nice but I don’t think it adds anything to it or was something I was trying to do.”
It’s not easy to always be compared to The Great One, who virtually rewrote the record book en route to becoming the NHL’s all-time leading scorer.
But Crosby seems to take it all in stride.
“I’ve played in the league for two years. What he did was over a whole career,” Crosby said. “I think it’s something that you have to prove year after year. It’s not just one or two years. It’s year after year. For me I think I’ve realized that early, and that’s important.
“You have to be consistent. That’s something I’ve always tried to be. But I think it’s just important to realize that. For me, like I said, it’s a nice accomplishment this year. Who knows what next year will hold or the year after?”
As Crosby rolled this season, so did the Penguins.
Pittsburgh went 41-10-9 in games when he recorded a point, 6-13-0 when he did not and was 0-1-2 when he was out of the lineup. He was a big reason why the Penguins made a 47-point jump from the 2005-06 season and are getting ready for their first playoff appearance since 2001.
And there could be more hardware to come.
Crosby is one of the favourites to win the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP.
“I don’t know about my chances, I think there’s a lot of guys who have the opportunity to win it,” Crosby said. “A guy like (goalie Martin) Brodeur, the season he had is pretty unbelievable. He’s a big part of the team in New Jersey. (Canucks goalie Roberto) Luongo, he’s obviously made a huge impact in Vancouver. There’s a few guys there. We’ll see Thornton again. He was a big part of San Jose.
“You look at a lot of guys, and that’s something that I don’t really think about a whole lot. That’s up for other people’s opinions, up to them to decide. There’s been a lot of guys who have really impacted their team and made a difference.”
In the meantime, Crosby is getting ready for his first NHL playoff series against the Ottawa Senators.
“Really the regular season is what it is,” Crosby said. “When it comes playoff time, that’s when the best teams and the best players have to rise to the occasion.”