Today marks the 1,000th game of Sidney Crosby’s illustrious career. He has lived up to every single expectation placed on him. He is in rarified air with hockey greats like Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky as well as a basketball legend like Lebron James. Connor McDavid is well on his way, but has a long way to go as he just registered his 500th points in 369 games, the same as Crosby. Living up to expectations is a near impossible task. One that Sid has made look effortless over the years.
Hockey has been Crosby’s life. It has been a great life. Not only is his NHL success among the greatest to ever play, but his international success is up there with the all-time greats as well. There are no scandals, no drama, and an endless list of accolades. He has been a joy to watch as far back as his days in Rimouski.
All that said, we almost lost out on witnessing most of it. Crosby was also incredibly unlucky in how his statistical prime (ages 24-26) were robbed from him. We never got to see him at the height of his powers. When David Steckel intentionally side swiped his head the sport lost its best player with no timetable to return. You would check Twitter daily to see if he would show up at practice or if there was an update on his progress. This miserable loop felt like it would never end. It eventually did and we were gifted by one of the more emotional goals of Crosby’s career
There was still one more mild scare where Crosby missed a chunk of time due to everybody taking extreme precautions, but he was back and that was no guarantee.
The damage was done, though. He likely lost out on two Hart Trophies during the time missed to the concussion/neck injury in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Brooks Orpik definitely cost him the Hart in 2012-13. He should have around five MVP’s. Crazily enough, he only has two. Crosby currently has 468 goals and 1,276 points. I did the math a few years ago and on the conservative side he lost 86 goals and 238 points during his prime. He would likely be around 554 goals and 1,514 points.
Since then Crosby has cemented his legacy with two more Stanley Cups, back to back Conn Smythe Trophies, and countless amazing highlights. I’m frustrated by the time he lost during his prime, but grateful we didn’t lose it all. Cheers to you, Sid. Here’s to many more.