Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby plays in 500th career game

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins. Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby played in his 500th career NHL game last night against the San Jose Sharks, and in typical dramatic fashion, he played hero with a great performance. The Sharks entered the game as arguably the best team in the league. The Pens, no slouch either, did not hesitate to quickly bury their counterparts from California, thanks in large part to a quickly accumulated 4-0 first period lead, fuelled by three-assists from the captain.

The Penguins won the game by a final score of 5-1. Crosby’s three helpers extended his point lead to 41, four more than the next closest scorer, teammate Evgeni Malkin. Sid The Kid has a 9-point lead on the rest of the league, Malkin aside.

Crosby has accomplished much in 500 NHL games:

Art Ross in 2007.

Lester B. Pearson/Ted Lindsay in 2007 and again in 2013.

2007 also saw Sid earn the Hart trophy and Mark Messier Leadership award.

In 2010, Crosby won the Rocket Richard for most goals in a season, and only one year prior, in 2009, he captained the Penguins to the franchise’s third ever Stanley Cup title.

According to Quant Hockey, Crosby’s 1.412 points per game ranks him fourth all-time behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Mike Bossy.

In 500 contests, Crosby has impressively tallied 253 goals, 453 assists, for a total of 706 points.

Number 87 has suffered major setbacks in his last three seasons as injuries have taken their toll. Since 2009-10, when Crosby won the Rocket, he has failed to play more than 41 games in all three regular seasons. Despite missing so much time with injury, Crosby is still considered the best player in the NHL, something he makes evident whenever he is healthy.

In February of 2014, the NHL will be sending its best players to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Crosby is a lock to represent Canada at the tournament. It was Sid who ended the 2010 tournament with a golden goal against the USA. This time around, Crosby will not only lead his nation’s Olympic hockey team in star status, there is a very real chance he may wear the “C” as team captain.