Today’s 5: Crosby, Devils keep losing, Kaleta appeals 10 game suspension, and more.

1. A healthy Crosby is a productive Crosby

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Call it bad luck, or call it fragility, for whatever reason, Sidney Crosby has failed to play more than 41 games in an NHL season since 2009-10. In his last full go-round, Sid pumped 51 goals, totalling 109 points, placing him 2nd overall in scoring, 3 behind Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks for the Art Ross. Somehow, Crosby has only won the Art Ross once.

Since 2010, Crosby hasn’t been healthy long enough to challenge for a scoring title. Although, when he has played, he’s run away with the scoring lead, which is something he is well on his way to accomplishing again this season.

In 2010-11, Sid had 66 points at the halfway mark of the season when he and team doctors decided it was in his best interest to sit out the rest of the year. The math is easy here. 66 points in 41 games translates to a projected 132 points by season’s end. Mario Lemieux’s 161 back in 1995-96 is the last time an NHL player scored more than 130 points in a single season.

It was much of the same in 2011-12. Sid piled up 37 points in 22 games before realizing the concussion symptoms that had plagued him the year before were still lingering. His season ended early, again. Crosby was on pace to slightly improve on the projected 132 total from the previous year.

Last season, Sid was doing great until taking a point shot to the face with 12 matches remaining in the 48 game season. His 56 points almost held up as most in the league. Crosby was passed for the Art Ross on one of the last nights of the season by Tampa Bay Lightning captain Martin St. Louis.

Sid leads the NHL in points right now. He has 12. St. Louis, has 10. The rest of the pack have 9 or less. It’s early for projecting pace, but Sid is at 2 points a game, so, if he keeps that up over 82 he’ll finish the season with 164 which would be the highest point total in the NHL since Mario Lemieux’s 199 in 1988-89, nearly two and a half decades ago.

Crosby’s point per game is ridiculous. According to Quant Hockey, at 1.422 career points per game Sid The Kid is the 4th most efficient scorer in NHL history behind Wayne Gretzky(1.921), Mario Lemieux(1.883), and Mike Bossy(1.497).

As fans of the game, here’s hoping Sidney Crosby plays 82 games and does something memorable in 2013-14.

2. The New Jersey Devils keep on losing

You can argue they lost when superstar forward Ilya Kovalchuk decided to walk away from the NHL this summer. Read about that here.

May as well go back another summer and say they lost pretty bad when franchise player and captain Zach Parise said, “see ya” as an unrestricted free agent, leaving the Devils empty handed.

Right before Parise left the Devils for greener pastures with the Minnesota Wild, they lost pretty big in the Stanley Cup finals against the Los Angeles Kings.

Now, they’re still losing. The Devils are 0-3-3 to start the 2013-14 NHL campaign. They, like division foes, have been unlucky to play most of their early season games on the west coast where Eastern Conference teams are getting destroyed often.

The Devils almost won a game this year. They had a 3-0 lead over the Edmonton Oilers in the 3rd period of a contest at Rexall, in Alberta. The young Oilers stormed back to win the game 5-4 in a shootout. The Oilers have 1 win, and that was it.

Tomorrow evening brings familiarity. The Devils return east to face a beatable foe returning from a western road swing, as well. They say the home team is susceptible to losing the first game after a stay away from the comforts of their own city. The Devils have that going in their favour.

According to Tom Gulitti of The Record, Martin Brodeur will start in goal for the Devils in Ottawa, as they try and change the momentum of what has been a disastrous start, laden with losing.



3. Matt Duchene, Logan Couture, and Tyler Seguin

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

There comes a time in every young scorers career when he takes a massive leap forward and starts drastically outdoing his previous point totals. For Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks, and Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars, that could be this season – looks like it might be.

It’s not only that they’re scoring, it’s the way they’re doing it. The three snipers possess speed, strength, cunning, skill, and a bunch of other stuff that separates promising young players from elite NHL superstars.

Career Highs

Matt Duchene – 67 points in 2010-11.

Logan Couture – 65 in 2011-12

Tyler Seguin – 67 in 2011-12

As young fellas, still a little wobbly, weak and inexperienced, the three promising kids were posting decent point totals.

Matt Duchene, Logan Couture, and Tyler Seguin are ready to take the next step as NHL point producers. You can see it in their early season numbers. Couture has 9, Duchene & Seguin have 7 – all above a point a game pace. All three are capable of generating their own offence with unique and impressive skill – they don’t simply tap some in – they are explosive offensive players.

Duchene, Couture and Seguin should smash career highs this season.

4. What a goal by Huberdeau

The Florida Panthers just don’t get enough attention, but that is likely to change over the next few seasons. The Cats have possibly the best collection of high end talent under the age of 21 years old. One of those future superstars, Jonathan Huberdeau, scored a highlight reel goal last evening against the Nashville Predators. It’s worth a look if you haven’t seen it yet.



5. Patrick Kaleta to appeal 10 game suspension

Bob MacKenzie Tweets:



If you haven’t yet seen the head shot Patrick Kaleta landed on Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenceman Jack Johnson, here it is courtesy of Hockey Fights dot com.