Sidney Crosby makes history

Sidney Crosby makes history

Sidney Crosby makes history

When Sidney Crosby decides to hang up his skates and call it a career, many will argue that he was the greatest to ever play the game. The 33-year-old has not only left his mark on the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Canadian national team, but on the game as a whole.

On Saturday, Crosby made history again with what seemingly looked like a meaningless goal. With 0.1 seconds left on the clock, the Canadian scored an empty net goal against the New Jersey Devils to seal the 4-2 victory for the Penguins. The goal was Crosby’s 55th point of the season – ensuring that for the 16th straight season the superstar will average a point-per-game.

The milestone was an important one as Crosby now joins Wayne Gretzky as the only two players in the history of the National Hockey League to average a point-per-game for 16 consecutive years. He can still surpass Gordie Howe’s record of averaging a point-per-game in 17 seasons total but will need a couple of more years to do it.  

“Any time you’re mentioned with Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky, that’s pretty neat,” said Crosby after Saturday’s game. It’s also a reminder of how long I’ve played too. It’s a compliment to be in that company.”

That was not the only significant of the goal however. The empty netter also allowed Crosby to become the first player in Penguins’ history to score 20-plus goals in 13 different seasons, breaking a tie with club legend Mario Lemieux and current teammate Evgeni Malkin.

“He’s a generational talent. He’s in such elite company,” Penguins’ head coach Mike Sullivan said following the contest. “He’s building a real compelling argument for being one of the greatest players of all time. We believe he is, but with each milestone he reaches it just provides hard evidence.”

Crosby has 55 points in 47 games so far this season as Pittsburgh continues to battle for top spot in the East Division despite playing without Malkin since March 16th. Even with Malkin’s absence though, Crosby has mustered nine goals and 26 points in 19 games without the Russian superstar in the lineup. Fortunately for Penguins’ fans, Malkin did skate prior to Pittsburgh’s game on Saturday, but still had on a no-contact jersey. It remains to be seen when he will officially be able to return to the lineup and help out his teammates.

Crosby has spent his entire NHL career in Pittsburgh, being drafted first overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. During his 16 seasons with the Penguins, he has led the team to three Stanley Cup triumphs including back-to-back wins in 2016 and 2017. Individually, he has two Hart trophies as he was named the league’s most valuable player in both 2007 and 2014.

Along with his success in Pittsburgh, Crosby has also represented his country a plethora of times in international competition. Most notably, helped Canada win consecutive Olympic gold medals in 2010 and 2014 but he has also won World Junior gold, World Hockey Championship gold and World Cup of Hockey gold as well.