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Can Sidney Crosby get back in the scoring race?

Nov 21, 2011, 10:41 AM EDT

Phil Kessel AP

When Sidney Crosby‘s season ended last year after 41 games, he was steamrolling the league in scoring with 66 points including 32 goals, all league leading marks. With Sid returning to action tonight against the Islanders he’s spotted the rest of the league around 20 games to get all the points they could muster before he gets back at it.

Considering that Crosby was scoring points at a 1.6 points per game pace last season, catching up to Phil Kessel and his 29 points and 15 goals doesn’t seem like it’s too far out of reach but looks can be deceiving. Through 21 games last year, the same number Kessel has played this year, Crosby had 33 points showing remarkable consistency with what his final numbers ended up being.

If Kessel is able to keep up the same kind of scoring pace this year, he’d finish the year with more than 110 points. Crosby need to score nearly two points per game all season in order to get into the scoring race and challenge Kessel or Claude Giroux or any of the other guys hovering close to Kessel’s league leading numbers.

If Crosby comes back and plays just like how he did last year before getting hurt, the scoring race could get even more exciting as the season winds down with Crosby closing in on the leaders. If he can manage to do that, Crosby will manage to pull down even more award hardware than we’re used to seeing with potential Hart, Art Ross, Rocket Richard, and Masterton trophies to aim for. Not that Crosby needs that kind of myth building but that would make for a remarkable year.

First things first for Sid: He’s got to score to get the ball rolling.

  1. 8man - Nov 21, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    He’s been off for 10 months. I think expecting him to pick up where he left off is absurd. Hell, he may get lost on his way out to the ice.

    • hockeyfan1701 - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      You really need some help

      • 8man - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        Yes. That has been said to me before.

        Commence au festival!

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        I wouldn’t say that expectation is absurd, but I have a hard time seeing him missing 10 months and going right back to being a point and half per game player. He should be able to get there but it could take a week or several weeks

  2. toegoat - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Sid is a beast I guarantee a 2pt night, 10months or not, he WILL pick up where he left off.

  3. sknut - Nov 21, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    A lot will depend on how fast his minutes go up and how much power play time he gets. I wouldn’t put it past him though to throw up some crazy numbers.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 21, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Kessel scored his 16th last night

  5. tcclark - Nov 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    This feels like Eric Lindros all over again… luckily for Sid, Scott Stevens doesn’t play for the Islanders

  6. stakex - Nov 21, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Everyone needs to accept the facts for what they are: Last year, Crosby was in the middle of a career year, and perhaps a career 30 game stretch. The odds are his numbers would have cooled off in the second half of the season (he actually was cooling off when he was hurt with just 1 assist in 3 games) and he would have ended up with somewhere around 50-55 goals and 110-120 points. Still really good numbers, and far more in line with his previous career highs then the noval fantasy of “What if’s” had his pace continued for the rest of the year. Now, those same numbers (40-50 goals – 120ish points) are what one could expect from Corsby this year IF he was healthy from the start of the season and IF he hadn’t recieved his concussion last year. .

    Now? I think it would be a good year for Crosby if he could score 25 goals and 60 points by the end of the season. Not only has Crosby not played in the NHL in eight months, which means he needs to get use to the pace again, but he’s almost certainly going to be more careful on the ice. I mean, you can’t tell me that when hes coming up the middle with the puck that hes not going to be just a little more concerned about getting hit then he use to be (and he would be crazy not to be). That little extra fear of getting another big hit might be more then enough to cause Crosby’s scoring to suffer… much like what happened with Lindros. Thats not even getting into the “What if’s” about him getting hurt again.

    As for the scoring title… lets be real here. It might be fun to talk about for Crosby fans, but its not realistic at all. Even if he came back scoring at a 1.6 points per game pace (he won’t) he still probably wouldn’t win the title. If he should be some miricle come out of the gate scoring up a storm and hit 35-40 points by the mid point of the season THEN we can talk about the still remote possibilty of a scoring title. Right now? Lets just see if he can score one goal….. let alone 50.

    • cshearing - Nov 22, 2011 at 8:35 AM

      How do you feel about that now?

  7. toegoat - Nov 22, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    ;y bad I meant to say he will have a 4pt night!!!!! LET’S GO PENS!

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  2. P. Kessel (1272)
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  4. N. Backstrom (1120)
  5. M. Giordano (1000)