The Overly Underrated Season of Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby Season
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At the age of 34, Sidney Crosby has had his career often derailed by serious injuries. From the concussions to a nagging wrist injury to core muscle surgery. Through all of this adversity “Sid, the Kid” has managed to keep up with all the young guys in addition to longtime comparison, Alexander Ovechkin.  Since November 27th Crosby sits second in scoring only behind Florida Panther Jonathan Huberdeau. This season playing on various lines Crosby has only elevated given linemates, even Evan Rodrigues who although was on a heater is no more than a fourth-line player on any regular team. Playing at a 1.2 point/game pace, it’s clear that age and wrist issues aren’t slowing the Hall of Famer down anytime soon.

Sidney Crosby’s Season Has Been Incredibly Underrated

Crosby’s Season In Points

Since coming into the NHL 17 seasons ago, Sidney Crosby hasn’t played a single season below a point per game. This season, Crosby has been on fire in the past five games, collecting 8 points. Coming off of wrist surgery, people would never know what the Nova Scotia native has gone through. Sitting at 56 points in 46 games, Crosby has elevated the Penguin’s top line with Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel. That line alone of Sid and the kids is operating at almost 3.5 goals per game.

Crosby’s most notable performance of the season came at a cost of the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he recorded a hattrick in a four-point night while also collecting the win. Crosby isn’t only filling the net, he’s creating insane chances for his teammates to fill the net. He’s singlehandedly averaging 2.4 assists per game, that’s crazy. Surely any NHL coach will be fine with Sid focusing on offence over defence. Mike Sullivan sure isn’t complaining. The Penguins have a chance at pushing deep into the playoffs, after a few dry series, Sidney Crosby will look to lead his team to number six.

Style of Play

Being one of the most creative players in the NHL, Crosby’s play has not diminished. He’s consistently using his lower body to not only work in the corners as he’s known to do but to make almost impossible passes and plays. Although his defensive game hasn’t been the same as in past years, his offensive abilities are being shown off more and it’s ultimately paying off. Being less defensively-minded has gained him the ability to create space in all zones without the worry of an odd-man rush or transition going the other way.

In the offensive zone, Crosby is creating offence at a very high level not only for himself but for his linemates. A change we’ve seen most notably this year is the captain has started creating offence primarily off the forecheck whereas in past years we saw him rush into the zone and create right inside the blue line. The star is consistent as ever creating high danger hockey, creating rebounds, and most notably propelling his line to be one of the best in the NHL.

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Crosby’s Next Contract

Sidney Crosby is going to be a Pittsburgh Penguin for life. There’s not a single doubt in my mind regarding that. As his 12-year, 8.7 million AAV contract is set to expire in the 2024-25 offseason, It’s expected that the Penguins captain will take less to chase a cup. With Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang’s contracts up this season, their decisions will likely play a part in Crosby’s next contract. Anybody who’s followed his career will assume he’ll take less to win, fair assumption. When his contract does expire he’ll be 38 years old, I think many see him playing past that. Continuous two-year contracts may be in his future. With his estimated career earnings sitting at a whopping 136 million, expect the Evgeni Malkin “I’m a pretty rich guy” route.

The Outlook

Anyone born in the 2000s is soon going to see the day where the greats have finally retired. One day there will be no Crosby, Ovechkin, Bergeron, Kane, or Stamkos. All five of these players have shown this season that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. At this point in these stars’ careers, I believe it’s time to appreciate rather than compare. On that note, with 168 fewer games played, Crosby only sits nine points behind Ovechkin. It’ll interesting to see who pulls ahead but it’ll be years before we see the end of these two friends? and rivals.

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