Sidney Crosby

Don Wassall

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Sidney Crosby is making his debut for the Penguins in about one hour. Should be a great atmosphere at the game in Pittsburgh. It's been almost a year since Sid last played due to persistent concussion symptoms. Let's hope he's one hundred percent as he's a tremendous hockey player and a class act and great representative of the NHL off the ice.
 

Don Wassall

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It took Crosby all of about 4 minutes to score in his first game back, a beautiful back-hander! The game is being televised nationally on Versus.
 

jaxvid

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Glad to see him back. He's a rare talent and really helps the league.

What is it with concussions now? I know they are trying to prevent some kind of permanent damage by being so cautious but I see the old timers all the time and they seem fine. Look at Gordie Howe, the guy played for 60 years and had to have his head bashed a million times. But he seems fine. Same for most of the other old timers. I can see in football where there is a lot of head butting but how often does it happen in hockey? It seems like more of the pussification of our society. Pitch counts for pitchers, year long time off for concussions, next thing you know they will be bringing in relief QB's if the starter throws too many passes.
 

Freethinker

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2 goals and 2 assists is a heckuva way to make a debut. Glad to see him back even though I am a Rangers fan.
 

Don Wassall

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Sid currently has 499 goals. The Penguins play at Ottawa tonight. If he get his 500th in this game it will not only be on the road but will take place in front of a huge throng of 500 fans due to Ontario's insane Covid restrictions. But whenever it happens it's a significant accomplishment for one of the best all-around players ever. It's hard to believe "Sid the Kid" will turn 35 this summer.
 

BeyondFedUp

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Sid currently has 499 goals. The Penguins play at Ottawa tonight. If he get his 500th in this game it will not only be on the road but will take place in front of a huge throng of 500 fans due to Ontario's insane Covid restrictions. But whenever it happens it's a significant accomplishment for one of the best all-around players ever. It's hard to believe "Sid the Kid" will turn 35 this summer.
Will you be able to see the game televised on one of the satellite or Penguins paystub channels, Don? Would be great if you can. Silly that more fans can't be there.
 

Don Wassall

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Yes, I can watch any of their games on the local Pittsburgh sports network -- except the ones ESPN televises and puts on one of their streaming services. That was never the case before until ESPN won the hockey rights for some reason, given that ESPN basically hates hockey for obvious reasons and has always given it about as much coverage as cornhole. NBC is little better ideologically but did a much better job of televising games and promoting the league. ESPN's goal may be to make the NHL as obscure as possible.

Anyway, the second period just ended and it's 1-0 Pitt. Jeff Carter scored the only goal so far.
 

BeyondFedUp

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Ok, good deal. Looking forward to his 500th. He's been around long enough I remember him back in the day when I watched hockey a lot more often. We'll have to get a clip of the goal on here in the threads whenever it happens. Maybe it'll happen at home in an upcoming game. Either way, what an accomplishment.
 
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Don Wassall

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Sid scores his 500th goal tonight at home against the arch-rival Flyers. He's the 46th player to reach 500 so it isn't super rare, but in this low scoring era he's the only active player besides Ovechkin with that many.

Crosby is a great all-around player and scoring isn't even his strongest suit as he passes up lots of shots trying to set up teammates. His parents were there to see him get his 500th, a nice moment in Pittsburgh hockey history.
 
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white lightning

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Congrats to Sidney Crosby. He is a class act on and off the ice. Crosby is an amazing hockey player!
 

BeyondFedUp

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Congrats to Sid yesterday and I'm glad he did it on the home ice with his parents there!
 

Don Wassall

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Sidney Crosby had three points last night and moved from 15th place in all-time career points to a tie for 13th. He passed Paul Coffey and tied Mark Recchi. Both Coffey and Recchi spent part of their careers with the Penguins.

At the age of 36, Crosby now has 1,533 points and is still going strong though no longer one of the very best players in the league. He's already had a long career as he broke in as an 18 year old and had 100 points as a rookie, but if he can continue to play well for another two or three seasons, he'll finish in the top ten, pretty significant considering all the other all-time points leaders played in previous eras other than Alex Ovechkin, who is currently 16th with 1,501 points and with a good shot surpassing Wayne Gretzky to be the NHL's all-time leading goal scorer.

After Crosby and Ovechkin, the leading active scorers are Evgeni Malkin (40th all time) and Patrick Kane (41st).
 

Don Wassall

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Crosby recently passed Joe Thornton and is now 12th all time in career scoring with 1,543 points. Next up is Ray Bourque, who finished with 1,579 combined goals and assists.

Looking at the list of all-time scorers, Sid has a chance to finish second if he stays motivated for a few more years and his skills don't erode too much, no given as his main contemporary and rival, Alex Ovechkin, is really struggling this season with just 8 goals through 38 games. Ovechkin is 38 while Crosby is 36.

I know Carolina Speed likes to keep tabs on career marks in baseball and football, so here's hockey's all-time best:

1. Wayne Gretzky -- 2,857 points, unlikely to be surpassed for a long time if ever.
2. Jaromir Jagr -- 1,921 points, Jagr's number 68 is finally going to be retired next month by the Penguins, a welcome and long overdue move that should be a quite emotional event given how Jagr was long mistreated by the DWFs and the Penguins organization.
3. Mark Messier -- 1,887 points
4. Gordie Howe -- 1,850 points
5. Ron Francis -- 1,798 points, maybe the most under-rated and under-appreciated player ever.
6. Marcel Dionne -- 1,771 points
7. Steve Yzerman -- 1,775 points, my favorite non-Penguin, great player and class act, is the man mainly responsible for turning the Tampa Bay Lightning into such a strong team for so many years now.
8. Mario Lemieux -- 1,723 points, the only one who could have threatened Gretzky's records but suffered from a bad back and a bout with cancer that cost him many games.
9. Joe Sakic -- 1,641 points
10. Phil Esposito -- 1,590 points
11. Ray Bourque -- 1,579 points, the only defenseman among the top twelve.
12. Sidney Crosby -- 1,543 points and still going strong.
 

Carolina Speed

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I know Carolina Speed likes to keep tabs on career marks in baseball and football, so here's hockey's all-time best:
Ironically, I just logged on to see this post. I don't look at the Hockey thread very often as growing up we had the Charlotte Checkers minor league and that's about it, and of course there were no leagues for kids to play in down here. Now, with The Hurricanes in Raleigh there's more interest, but leagues for kids are only in the larger cities.
Hockey was the one sport my sons always wanted to try, but there was just nowhere to get them involved, so they wrestled in the winter between football and baseball/track.
But yes, always enjoy looking at stats/career marks in any sport. Glad to see Crosby climbing the list of greats.
So, incredible to see the "Great One" at the top and the kind of talent he was. Do you think that's a record that will never be broken?
 

Don Wassall

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Glad you found your way to this thread! I think the only way Gretzky's records -- not just career points but his individual season records of 92 goals and 215 points -- can be threatened is if the NHL goes back to a more wide open game, which was the case during much of Gretzky's career.

Gretzky remains the only player to score 200 points in a season, though Mario Lemieux scored 199 points in 1988-'89, his peak year. I do think Lemieux was the greatest offensive talent ever, or at least rivaled Gretzky, but as mentioned he lost the equivalent of several seasons due to a bad back that plagued him off and on. Gretzky was a sheer genius at seeing the ice and anticipating and making plays in a sport that moves at constant breakneck speed.

But those kinds of marks haven't been threatened for over 30 years now as the league has chosen for better or worse to tamp down on offense through various rules changes under the seemingly permanent commissioner Gary Bettman. The owners obviously like the status quo as well and the product is quite good, but most fans like lots of scoring over low scoring games, though a well played 1-0 hockey game can be as entertaining as a 7-6 one.
 

Don Wassall

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Crosby recently passed Joe Thornton and is now 12th all time in career scoring with 1,543 points. Next up is Ray Bourque, who finished with 1,579 combined goals and assists.

Looking at the list of all-time scorers, Sid has a chance to finish second if he stays motivated for a few more years and his skills don't erode too much, no given as his main contemporary and rival, Alex Ovechkin, is really struggling this season with just 8 goals through 38 games. Ovechkin is 38 while Crosby is 36.

I know Carolina Speed likes to keep tabs on career marks in baseball and football, so here's hockey's all-time best:

1. Wayne Gretzky -- 2,857 points, unlikely to be surpassed for a long time if ever.
2. Jaromir Jagr -- 1,921 points, Jagr's number 68 is finally going to be retired next month by the Penguins, a welcome and long overdue move that should be a quite emotional event given how Jagr was long mistreated by the DWFs and the Penguins organization.
3. Mark Messier -- 1,887 points
4. Gordie Howe -- 1,850 points
5. Ron Francis -- 1,798 points, maybe the most under-rated and under-appreciated player ever.
6. Marcel Dionne -- 1,771 points
7. Steve Yzerman -- 1,775 points, my favorite non-Penguin, great player and class act, is the man mainly responsible for turning the Tampa Bay Lightning into such a strong team for so many years now.
8. Mario Lemieux -- 1,723 points, the only one who could have threatened Gretzky's records but suffered from a bad back and a bout with cancer that cost him many games.
9. Joe Sakic -- 1,641 points
10. Phil Esposito -- 1,590 points
11. Ray Bourque -- 1,579 points, the only defenseman among the top twelve.
12. Sidney Crosby -- 1,543 points and still going strong.
Crosby had 2 assists tonight and moved ahead of the legendary Ray Borque into 11th place on the all time scoring list. He's needs just 12 points to surpass Phil Esposito and move into the top ten all-time.

Sid has been a big bright spot this season, still playing a very strong two-way game at age 36 in what has otherwise been another forgettable campaign for the Penguins.
 

SneakyQuick

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Crosby had 2 assists tonight and moved ahead of the legendary Ray Borque into 11th place on the all time scoring list. He's needs just 12 points to surpass Phil Esposito and move into the top ten all-time.

Sid has been a big bright spot this season, still playing a very strong two-way game at age 36 in what has otherwise been another forgettable campaign for the Penguins.
Sid the kid. Class act and an amazing player. Pittsburgh fans have been lucky to have him all these years
 

NikoDuke

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Sid has been a big bright spot this season, still playing a very strong two-way game at age 36 in what has otherwise been another forgettable campaign for the Penguins.

Don, I was down that way recently for a minor tourney and I heard talk that there's a chance that Sid leaves the Pens next year as he may want another run at the Cup?

Do you believe there's any substance to that? And if he was to go would put the franchise in jeopardy similar to when Mario left. I've always felt Pitt was a great hockey town.
 

Don Wassall

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Don, I was down that way recently for a minor tourney and I heard talk that there's a chance that Sid leaves the Pens next year as he may want another run at the Cup?

Do you believe there's any substance to that? And if he was to go would put the franchise in jeopardy similar to when Mario left. I've always felt Pitt was a great hockey town.
Were you at the Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry? There's a lot of hockey tournaments held there. If you have some extra time next time you're in the area let me know and we can have lunch or a couple beers.

Most of the talk about Crosby leaving the Penguins is from the national media, and of course Canada's hockey media. Locally it's been mentioned but not taken seriously at this point. Sid's 12 year $104 million contract expires on July 1st, so we'll know more closer to that date.

The Penguins aren't remotely close to a Stanley Cup contender anymore and that isn't going to change quickly. The last two seasons have been painful to watch. They're soft, small, old and slow and rarely play hard for a full 60 minutes. Their fundamentals are awful, they give up an endless amount of odd man breaks game after game, the power play has been wretched, they're clueless how to play OT 3 on 3, and they've become masters at blowing leads. Last night was a great example -- they gave up a short-handed goal early then managed to go up 3-1 over lowly Columbus halfway through the third, but then the Blue Jackets scored two goals and won the game in a shootout. The team is unmotivated and stale as can be, but just as with the other coaching "Mike" in town, namely Tomlin, Mike Sullivan for some reason has become the head coach for life even though they haven't won a playoff series since 2018 (and the Steelers haven't won a playoff game since '17).

They shouldn't have re-signed Letang and Malkin. Both have always been turnover machines as well as easily goaded into taking stupid penalties. They have poor situational awareness and it's only gotten more glaring and damaging as they've gotten older and slower. But the Penguins promote the team around the apparently sacred "core" of Crosby, Malkin and Letang, mainly to sell regular season tickets because even the most die-hard Penguins fan knows they're no longer a serious contender. So it's turned into this agonizing, drawn-out farewell tour for the "core," with only Crosby still playing at a high level.

That said, re-signing Malkin and Letang was done in part to placate Sid, who's a creature of habit and doesn't like change. And there's the tradition/legacy part of it. Crosby's career started just as Mario's was ending and Crosby lived with the Lemieuxs for several years after he was drafted first overall at the age of 18. So the feeling is that just like Mario he'll always be a Penguin after leading them to 3 Cups (one more than Lemieux), but Sid hasn't said anything about his intentions publicly so we'll find out this summer. Right now I'd say it's 80-20 he stays in Pittsburgh.
 

NikoDuke

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Good guess. I was at UPMC in Cranberry. Nice complex and stayed within walking distance. The Pens jnr program is an attractive option for many kids going the NCAA route. Will reach out next time.

Also, good write up on Sid. Perhaps it's confirmation bias but, I would prefer he stay a Pen till he retires as it's so rare an athlete does that anymore. Also, full disclosure, I was and remain a fan of Letang as in his prime he was one of the most complete Dman in the league. However, I recognize that time has diminished his impact.

I am concerned that the rebuild for the Pens will take some time as they lack draft picks in this year's draft.
 

Don Wassall

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Letang's turnovers and mental errors would likely decrease and his overall effectiveness would increase if Mike Sullivan didn't still insist on playing him so many minutes every game at nearly age 37. He's still out there for literally 25 minutes per game, which is testament to Letang's superb conditioning and desire, but no longer makes sense.

Sullivan is stubbornly resistant to change. He prefers tried and true veterans, even when they're clearly washed, such as Jeff Carter, to playing younger talent, though the Penguins' farm system is admittedly weak after many years of trading their top draft picks for one year rentals to try and win Cups, but there are some young players who should be getting ice time now as the team is clearly going to miss the playoffs again. Sullivan still has the team playing the system that won the Cup for them back in '16 and '17, when Crosby, Malkin and Letang were still fairly young and fresh legs like Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust helped along with speedsters like Carl Hagelin. Even roly-poly Phil Kessel was fast. Then they were fast and relentless; now they're slow and half-assed. The good teams in the league caught and surpassed them years ago when it comes to speed and youth.

Head coaches come and go in hockey more than any of the other big three sports and Sullivan's expiration date in Pittsburgh arrived years ago, but he stays on and on and on. I'm hoping he's fired or quits at the end of the season but the group that bought the Penguins from Lemieux and his fellow investors (Fenway Sports Group, from Sullivan's home town of Boston) signed Sullivan to an extension last year. I'm hardly alone in that opinion, if you ever check out Hockey's Future, the Penguins forum is pretty much non-stop Sullivan hate and has been for years.

As with Mike Tomlin, the much repeated "wisdom" is that Sullivan would be hired by another organization "in minutes" if he's fired. I hope another team gets to hire him as much like Tomlin he's been revealed as an incompetent who in Sullivan's case stepped into a situation, struck lightning in a bottle by going with an all-out speed game that was ideal at the time, but is still stuck on that formula all these years later and is incapable of changing the team's structure and system.
 

Don Wassall

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Sid the no longer Kid Crosby tonight clinched his 19th season of averaging at least a point per game, tying Wayne Gretzky's all-time record. He also now has 13 seasons of at least 80 points, tying Mark Messier, Marcel Dionne and Dale Hawerchuk for second most. Gretzy has the most 80+ point seasons with 17.
 

NikoDuke

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Letang's turnovers and mental errors would likely decrease and his overall effectiveness would increase if Mike Sullivan didn't still insist on playing him so many minutes every game at nearly age 37. He's still out there for literally 25 minutes per game, which is testament to Letang's superb conditioning and desire, but no longer makes sense.

Sullivan is stubbornly resistant to change. He prefers tried and true veterans, even when they're clearly washed, such as Jeff Carter, to playing younger talent, though the Penguins' farm system is admittedly weak after many years of trading their top draft picks for one year rentals to try and win Cups, but there are some young players who should be getting ice time now as the team is clearly going to miss the playoffs again. Sullivan still has the team playing the system that won the Cup for them back in '16 and '17, when Crosby, Malkin and Letang were still fairly young and fresh legs like Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust helped along with speedsters like Carl Hagelin. Even roly-poly Phil Kessel was fast. Then they were fast and relentless; now they're slow and half-assed. The good teams in the league caught and surpassed them years ago when it comes to speed and youth.

Head coaches come and go in hockey more than any of the other big three sports and Sullivan's expiration date in Pittsburgh arrived years ago, but he stays on and on and on. I'm hoping he's fired or quits at the end of the season but the group that bought the Penguins from Lemieux and his fellow investors (Fenway Sports Group, from Sullivan's home town of Boston) signed Sullivan to an extension last year. I'm hardly alone in that opinion, if you ever check out Hockey's Future, the Penguins forum is pretty much non-stop Sullivan hate and has been for years.

As with Mike Tomlin, the much repeated "wisdom" is that Sullivan would be hired by another organization "in minutes" if he's fired. I hope another team gets to hire him as much like Tomlin he's been revealed as an incompetent who in Sullivan's case stepped into a situation, struck lightning in a bottle by going with an all-out speed game that was ideal at the time, but is still stuck on that formula all these years later and is incapable of changing the team's structure and system.
Good read on Sullivan and is systemic of hockey, minor up through the pros. I do not speak on the flaws on hockey culture publicly because I would just be giving ammunition to the Diversity Inc crowd who want to tear hockey down.

But, as the audience here is different, I will state that unfortunately, hockey is very much a culture that is resistant to anything "new". The culture is shaped by mediocre thinkers who aren't very forward thinking. Thus, if you're a young player who thinks outside the box, you get sat over veterans like Jeff Carter who are "trusted". Part of the issue is that most coaches are failed grinders. Very few skilled players make the move into coaching. And it's like this in minor hockey as well.
Penguins should've moved away from Sullivan and the veterans a few years ago but, instead they doubled down on veterans and now are stuck with Karlssons contract.
 
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