With an assist on a Chris Kunitz goal, Sidney Crosby broke the 100-point barrier for the fifth time in his NHL career and the first since the 2009-10 season (injuries and work stoppages have conspired against the star hitting the century mark in between).
Here’s the assist:
As of this writing, Crosby has 36 goals and 64 assist for those 100 points.
Not only is Crosby, 26, the first NHL player to hit 100 points in 2013-14 … he’s likely to be the only one to do so this season. Ryan Getzlaf is currently the only other player with more than 80 points at the moment (83 points in 71 games), and his Ducks only have six games left this season.
Ignoring the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, here’s a look at some recent years’ 100-point producers.
2011-12: Evgeni Malkin (109)
2010-11: Daniel Sedin (104)
2009-10: Henrik Sedin (112), Crosby (109), Alex Ovechkin (109) and Nicklas Backstrom (101)
As you can see, 100-point producers are an increasingly rare sight, but the bigger concern for league scoring might be that most aren’t even getting very close. In 2011-12, Steven Stamkos had 97 points and Claude Giroux hit 93; Getzlaf might be the only other playing to eclipse 90 points, and that’s assuming the Ducks don’t give him a breather. (That’s not to say someone like Giroux couldn’t jump to 90; but most players are at a point-per-game or less.)
If you look at top scorers as a barometer for a league, then things are pretty dry for the NHL right now. But at least there’s Crosby.
The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.
Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.
The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)
The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.
The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.
Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.
“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”
The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.
The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.
Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.
The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.
According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.
“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”
In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.