Sidney Crosby started his season six goals back of the league lead, nine points away from the top of the scoring chart and with a six-game absence due to a concussion. Less than two months later, he’s topping the league in goals, only seven points back of the league scoring lead and has been the most dominant player in the league since his return.
The most impressive thing about Crosby’s play since his return to action earlier this year has undoubtedly been his goal scoring, though. While it’s no Wayne Gretzky 50-in-39 goal scoring pace, Crosby is on a modern-day scoring streak the likes of which has rarely been seen. In 23 games, Crosby has 21 goals, he’s shooting nearly 27 percent and it seems like nearly every game he’s scoring a goal worthy of a place in his personal highlight reel. Take last night’s marker, for example.
In the second period of Pittsburgh’s 7-0 dismantling of the Arizona Coyotes, Crosby found himself set up just outside goaltender Louis Domingue’s crease. As Crosby tracked the play, he watched the puck get worked across the blueline for an eventual one-timer by Evgeni Malkin, which caught Domingue and the post. Crosby quickly caught up to the puck, watched it patiently until it came below the crossbar and whacked it home:
If you and your friends are ever wondering the difference between the abilities of an average rec league player and an NHL star like Crosby, it might be worth it to simply show them this play. Send 100 weeknight warriors out there to make this play and chances are half miss the puck altogether, another 25 get excited and swing at the puck while it’s well above the crossbar and the remaining 25 either luck into tapping it home or swing early and flub the puck over the net.
Crosby’s scoring run has been absolutely magical this season, and the craziest thing is that it doesn’t even feel like it’s going to slow down. By all statistical measures it should, to be sure, but when that happens is anyone’s guess.
If Crosby somehow manages to continue this pace for the duration of the season, he will have reached unthinkable totals for a 76-game season. As of Tuesday, he’s on pace for 69 goals and 105 points. His goal total would be more than his past two seasons combined and his 105 points would be the most since he netted 109 during the 2009-10 campaign.
Even if he slows down, though, Crosby is well on his way to just the second 50-goal season of his career, and that alone is incredibly impressive given he started his year two weeks later than the rest of the league.
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