Sidney Crosby: Healthy and looking for new goals

DCP_5077 Sidney Crosby’s 1st home game with the Pens, 10/8/2005

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Stay healthy, kid.

It’s been four seasons since Sidney Crosby laced up the skates as many times as he already has in 2013-14.

At 22 years of age, Sid was still a kid when he played 81 games in 2009-10. In the past three seasons, Crosby has played 41, 22, and 36 games, respectively.

This year, he’s played in all 48 games for the Penguins, one of only six Pittsburgh players to accomplish the difficult feat of staying healthy in the NHL.

Crosby matched his career high in games played (81) four seasons ago. He tied Steven Stamkos for the Rocket Richard Trophy, netting 51 goals – a career best and compiled 109 points, tying him with Alexander Ovechkin for second place in the Art Ross Trophy race and three behind winner, Henrik Sedin.

Crosby’s 109-point total represented the second-highest total of his career and one of four times he’s eclipsed 100 points.

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IMG_8748 Crosby on the bench with Chris Kunitz and others

Through 48 games, Crosby leads the NHL with 68 points, including 25 goals and 43 assists. Both John Tavares and Patrick Kane rank second in scoring with 56 points.

By comparison, the star centerman registered 30 goals and 27 assists for 57 points through his first 48 contests in 2009-10.

While that pace was good, he did even better the rest of the way, compiling a whopping 52 points in his final 33 tilts.

Should Crosby replicate those numbers through his the next 33 games, he’d finish with 120 points – matching the career high he set in 2006-07. That year, he won his only scoring race as a 19-year-old – the only teenager to win an Art Ross Trophy.

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IMG_8409 Ready for another challenge

Crosby is looking for goals, literally and figuratively, to keep him motivated. The Pens hold an 18-point lead in the Metropolitan Division. That’s not going to spur him on to greater heights. Having a rag-tag group of right wingers could slow his point pace a bit. No one knows what might happen in the Olympics. It’s only six or so games, but there’s always a chance that something in Sochi affects what happens in Pittsburgh for the next several months thereafter.

In 2009-10, Crosby improved upon his faceoff skills, going from 51.3 percent to 55.9 percent (which still stands as his career best).

What will he do the rest of the way in 2013-14? How will he stay motivated?

He’ll continue to play hard, he knows no other way. But special players do special things. At 26, Crosby is the same age as Mario Lemieux when Le Magnifique helped the Penguins win the second of back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Crosby and the Pens are set up for a memorable spring.

History awaits.

Stay healthy, Kid.

DCP_5055 Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley

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Links

Sidney Crosby career statistics.

Sidney Crosby 2009-10 game log.

Sidney Crosby 2013-14 game log.

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