Tag: Crosby scoring streak

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malki

Sidney Crosby extends scoring streak to 25 games as Penguins trash Thrashers


Sidney Crosby extended what is clearly the best scoring streak of the post-lockout era tonight with a two goal, two assist performance as the Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the Atlanta Thrashers 6-3. His 25-game streak features 26 goals and 24 assists for 50 points, averaging exactly two points per game.

At this point, it might be safe to say that Crosby isn’t really competing with Alex Ovechkin and other high-scoring contemporary forwards, but rather that he’s battling some of the best players in NHL history. Keeping in mind that he’s only 23-years-old and the fact that league-wide defense has evolved profoundly since the laughable scoring days of the ’80s and other offense-minded eras, Crosby is experiencing the kind of run that might put him in line with the best of the best.

Overall, Crosby has 32 goals and 33 assists for 65 points in 38 games played during the 2010-11 season. Before he tied Steven Stamkos for the Maurice Richard Trophy with 51 goals in 09-10, Crosby’s career high for goals scored in a season was 36. He has an outside chance of matching that total by the end of the Winter Classic on Saturday.

Box Score: Pittsburgh 6, Atlanta 3

Crosby was the star of the show, but Matt Cooke (one goal and one assist) and Marc-Andre Fleury (31 out of 34 saves) provided some good work too for the East-leading Penguins.

Philadelphia holds three games in hand over Pittsburgh, but the Penguins ensured the fact that they’ll maintain their division (and conference) lead over the Flyers for at least one more night even if they beat the Vancouver Canucks in a game that’s about to start. That’s because the Penguins hold a three point lead at this very moment.

Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and Eric Boulton scored Atlanta’s goals while Bryan Little had two assists. This marks the Thrashers’ fourth loss in a row and though they might face the threat of slipping to eighth in the conference with another defeat or two, they still have a decent hold on a playoff spot at this point.

Crosby extends his scoring streak to 22 games while Penguins shrink Flyers’ lead with win over Panthers


After a slight two-game hiccup that interrupted their 12-game losing streak, it looks like the Pittsburgh Penguins are right back to business.  The team pulled within one point of the Philadelphia Flyers for the top spot in the Atlantic Division/Eastern Conference/NHL standings with a nice win over the Florida Panthers tonight.

Sidney Crosby scored a goal to bring his career-best points scoring streak to 22 games (tying Dany Heatley for the best span of the post-lockout era), which is also the second best run of consecutive points in 18 years. He now has 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 points in 35 games played this season.

Pittsburgh 5, Florida 2

The Pens have out-scored their last two opponents (the Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes) by a score of 11-3. The red-hot team is taking care of business going into a Winter Classic preview against the Washington Capitals tomorrow night (a game that’s being carried by the U.S. version of the NHL Network, by the way).

It wasn’t all great news for the Penguins, though. The worst is that their steady backup Brent Johnson only played two periods, as it sounds like he got banged up when Evgeny Dadonov crashed into him late in the second. Another (far less relevant) bummer is that Evgeni Malkin went without a goal or an assist after earning eight points in his previous three games.

This game managed the rare feat of a one-sided match that still required all four goalies to play because of Johnson’s injury. Tomas Vokoun was pulled early in the game after allowing three goals to make way for backup Scott Clemmensen, who allowed two.

Crunching the numbers from an amazing run by Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins


Look, I understand the fact that many hockey fans suffer from the occasional bout of Sidney Crosby overload. Still, sometimes you just have to put your puck-based prejudices aside and marvel at some amazing hockey craftsmanship. Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are simply on an amazing run right now – and with the team on its first 10 game winning streak since 1999 – I thought it might be wise for us to stop and smell the statistical roses.

Pittsburgh’s impressive streaks

You can break down the Penguins’ amazing run in a few different ways. Most obviously, they are on a 10-game winning streak. However, you can go back a little further to find a longer run of impressive play; since losing twice in a row to start the month of November, the Penguins are 13-1-1 in 15 games (earning 27 out of a possible 30 points in that span). They are also 13-2-1 during Crosby’s 16-game points streak.

Some of the other numbers from Crosby’s 16-point streak

It’s easy to isolate the big, obvious numbers from Crosby’s run: 18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points in those 16 games. Let’s look at some of the other numbers, though: he earned a +12 rating during that run and supplied three game winning goals. He also won at least 50 percent of his faceoffs in 10 of those 16 contests, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Crosby carries the offense

By my calculations, the Pittsburgh Penguins scored 52 goals during Crosby’s 16-game streak. Counting his goals and assists, Crosby accounted for 33 of those goals, meaning that an amazing 63.46 percent of the team’s goals were created by Crosby.

Meanwhile, Evgeni Malkin has been pretty solid (if inconsistent) when he’s been healthy during that stretch: five goals and eight assists for 13 points in 13 games played. The only issue is that those results are spotty; that span includes one three goal and one three assist game. (See his game logs.)

(Still, it’s pretty stunning that adding up the Penguins’ second highest point producer [Kris Letang, 26 points] with Malkin [22] only equals Crosby’s outstanding output.)

It’s an amazing achievement for Crosby, but the natural question is: what happens when he hits a snag, something one can only assume might happen during an 82-game season?

Marc-Andre Fleury’s resurgence

The other marquee talent driving the Penguins’ amazing run is Fleury. His redemption is sweet retribution for the patient Pittsburgh front office and proof that it’s important to give young goalies the time to get their games back together when they falter. (Carey Price is another prime example.)

Honestly, I’ve been pretty tough on Fleury, so here is a stats-based olive branch.

Numbers from his nine game winning streak

  • He allowed only 14 goals in those nine games, with four against Carolina being the most in any single contest.
  • Fleury stopped 252 out of 266 shots for a save percentage of approximately 94.7 percent.
  • The 2003 No. 1 overall pick earned a shutout in those nine games and only dipped below a 90 percent save percentage once: against Carolina.

And if you want to know his numbers during the Crosby streak …

  • In the 13 games Fleury played during Crosby’s 16-point streak, he went 11-1-1 with 23 goals allowed. He stopped 336 out of 359 shots for a 93.59 save percentage.

So, as you can see, Crosby isn’t the only Penguins player on a hot streak. The oddest bit might be that his most common even-strength teammates (Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis) are experiencing fairly bland statistical seasons. Kunitz only has 17 points and Dupuis only scored 13, behind three Pittsburgh defensemen.

Points from defensemen

Speaking of that, three of the team’s top six scorers over the entire 2010-11 season are blueliners. Letang has an astounding 26 points in 28 games while Paul Martin produced 14 and Alex Goligoski came in right behind with 13.


I hate to be a downer, but the Penguins should heed a bit of a warning: one player producing more than 63 percent of your offense obviously places a tremendous burden on that individual. Even if that individual is one of the best players in the world.

Then again, Malkin is hobbled and the team is playing without valuable two-way center Jordan Staal, so you cannot blame the Penguins for leaning on their red-hot captain so much.

The best part about Fleury’s resurgence is that they also know that they have a capable backup in Brent Johnson, who stole much of the young goalie’s thunder in the beginning of the season.

All disclaimers about balance aside, the Penguins are winning at an amazing rate, whether those victories come from blowouts (like a 7-2 drubbing of the Blue Jackets) or hard-fought one goal wins (such as last night’s 2-1 squeaker against the Devils). In a sport with such a small margin of error, you have to take what you can get … and Pittsburgh is taking it all right now.