Just to illustrate how dominant Sidney Crosby has been so far for the Pittsburgh Penguins, if he continued to produce at the pace he is on right now he’d score 72 goals and rack up a whopping 103 assists. While that kind of production isn’t sustainable, it shows just how outstanding Crosby has been in the early stages of the 2013-14 NHL season.
The Penguins should probably be sputtering a bit, considering two of their top-six forwards are on the shelf and Kris Letang hasn’t played yet this season because of injury. None of that seems to have made a difference to Crosby though, who would continue to produce points if you put him out on the ice with a goat and a can of Folgers for linemates.
If anything can slow down Crosby, it’s injuries. He hasn’t played a full 82-game season in four years, and seems to be a magnet for occasional misfortune. All of Sid’s luck is puck luck, and right now he might be playing the best hockey of his career. Crosby’s 17 points leads the NHL, and already has a five point cushion over Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks, who is second in scoring.
He’s averaging more than 22 minutes of ice time a night and leads one of the strongest power play groupings in the NHL. The Penguins have the second-best conversion rate with the man advantage, and Crosby is winning half of his faceoffs.
At this juncture, there just isn’t a better player in the league. Are misfiring badly in the playoffs as a group, the Penguins seem to have regrouped and are fired up. Not that Crosby typically needs any extra motivation, but he seemed particularly icy and businesslike with his play recently.
While Crosby probably won’t break the 170-point barrier, just how high is his ceiling? If he plays in 82 games, could be break 150 points? Consistency and health will be the two determining factors. Crosby controls one of those things, while the hockey gods control the other.