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30 things to know about Crosby

Facts and figures from Penguins center's career for 30th birthday

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

Don't call Sidney Crosby "Sid the Kid" anymore.

The teenager who once was anointed by no less than Wayne Gretzky as the player who could break NHL scoring records turns 30 on Monday. While Crosby's scoring numbers don't match Gretzky's (no one's do), there's little dispute that as he enters his fourth decade, the Pittsburgh Penguins center is the best player in hockey.

Consider that within the past 14 months, Crosby captained the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, making them the first repeat winners since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. After each of those championships, he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Between the two Cup titles, he also won MVP honors at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 after leading the tournament in scoring and helping Canada win the championship. For good measure, he also won the Maurice Richard Trophy last season by leading the NHL with 44 goals even though he missed the first six games of the season with a concussion.

Video: The best of Sidney Crosby as he turns 30!

 

[RELATED: Crosby's top 30 moments | Crosby brings Stanley Cup home for third time | Crosby's 100 Greatest Players bio]

 

On the occasion of Crosby's 30th birthday, here are 30 things to know about the greatest player of his generation:

1. Crosby has made uniform No. 87 famous (he was born on 8-7-87), but he's not the only NHL player to wear it. Donald Brashear (2001-10), Pierre Turgeon (2005-07), David Musil (2014-15) and Liam O'Brien (2014-17) have also worn No. 87.

2. Though Crosby is easily the most famous player in NHL history born Aug. 7, 1987, he's not the only one. Defenseman Michael Sauer, a native of St. Cloud, Minnesota, who played 98 games for the New York Rangers from 2008-09 through 2011-12, was born on the same day.

3. Crosby lived with Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and his family from 2005 until 2010, before purchasing his own home not far away.

4. Sidney isn't the only hockey-playing member of his family. Sister Taylor Crosby, 21, is a goaltender at St. Cloud State in Minnesota. Before going to college, she followed her big brother's footsteps by playing at Shattuck-St. Mary's, a prep school in Fairbault, Minnesota. Nor is he the only family member to be drafted by an NHL team: goaltender Troy Crosby, Sidney's father, was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 12th round (No. 240) of the 1984 NHL Draft, but never played in the League.

5. Crosby was 15 when he spent one year at Shattuck-St. Mary's, where the hockey director was former NHL forward J.P. Parise. He was given No. 9, one of the most honored numbers worn at the school; among the others who've worn it are three current NHL forwards: Zach Parise, J.P.'s son (Minnesota Wild); Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks); and Derek Stepan (Arizona Coyotes).

6. Though Crosby more than lived up to the hype by finishing his rookie NHL season (2005-06) with 102 points (39 goals, 63 assists), that wasn't enough to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. He finished second to Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, who had 106 points (52 goals, 54 assists).

7. However, Crosby has had his way against Ovechkin in their biggest moments. He and the Penguins are 3-0 in the playoffs against Ovechkin and the Capitals. They defeated Washington in seven games in the 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals, in six games in the Eastern Conference Second Round in 2016, and in seven games in the second round in 2017.

8. The Penguins finished last in the Atlantic Division in Crosby's rookie season but have qualified for the playoffs in each of the past 11 seasons, the longest active streak in the NHL.

9. At 21 years, 10 months and five days old, Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history to lead his team to the Stanley Cup when the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in seven games in 2009. He went onto the ice to receive the Cup after Pittsburgh's 2-1 victory in Game 7 after missing most of the third period with a knee injury.

10. Though he's scored 100- or more points in a season five times, Crosby's lone 50-goal season came in 2009-10, when he led the NHL with 51. He didn't score more than 36 goals again until finishing with 44 last season.

11. After finishing minus-1 as a rookie, Crosby has been a plus player in each of the past 11 seasons and was plus-17 in 2016-17. He's plus-165 for his career.

12. Crosby has averaged more than one point per game in each of his 12 NHL seasons. His lowest average came was 2015-16, when he finished with 85 points in 80 games (1.06 points per game).

13. Of Crosby's 576 regular-season penalty minutes, 110 (19.1 percent) came in 2005-06, his rookie season. Over the past seven seasons, his high is 47 penalty minutes in 2015-16.

14. Crosby became the 12th-fastest player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points when he assisted on a goal by Chris Kunitz against the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 16, 2017. It came in his 757th NHL game. He got point No. 1,001 by assisting on Phil Kessel's tying goal in the third period, then got No. 1,002 when he scored in overtime to give the Penguins a 4-3 win.

Video: WPG@PIT: Crosby sets up Kunitz for 1,000th point

15. Crosby has averaged 1.31 points per game (1,027 points in 782 games) through 12 NHL seasons, tied for fifth with Marcel Dionne. The only players in NHL history to average more are Gretzky (1.92), Mario Lemieux (1.88), Mike Bossy (1.50) and Bobby Orr (1.39).

16. Among active NHL players who have played at least 200 games, Crosby is No. 1 in points per game. Teammate Evgeni Malkin is second at 1.18, and Ovechkin is third at 1.12.

17. The 2011-12 season was the only one when Crosby averaged less than 19:53 of ice time. Injuries limited him to 22 games, and he averaged 18:28. His single-season high was 21:58, in 2013-14.

18. Amazingly, Crosby has more Stanley Cup championships (three) than NHL All-Star Game appearances (two). He was part of the Metropolitan Division team in 2017; it was his first trip to an All-Star Game since 2007, his second NHL season.

19. Crosby's three Stanley Cup championships are part of the reason he's a member of the IIHF's Triple Gold Club. He also has two Olympic gold medals (with Canada in 2010 and 2014) and helped Canada win the 2015 World Championship.

Video: Sidney Crosby delivered on much-hyped promise

20. Crosby got his 10th regular-season hat trick when he scored three goals in a 4-0 win against the Florida Panthers on March 19, 2017. They've come against 10 different teams. Among players active in 2016-17, he's seventh among in hat tricks, one behind Malkin. Crosby also has two playoff hat tricks, against the Capitals in 2009 and the Ottawa Senators in 2013.

21. Though Crosby is one of the greatest offensive players in NHL history, he's never scored on a penalty shot. He's 0-for-4, the most recent coming against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 5, 2014, when he was stopped by Al Montoya.

22. During the 2010-11 season, Crosby had a 25-game point streak. He had 50 points (26 goals, 24 assists), during the streak. It was the longest in the NHL since Mats Sundin of the Quebec Nordiques scored in 30 straight games in 1992-93.

23. The shootout was first used in Crosby's rookie season, and he's become pretty good at it. He's scored 36 times in 81 attempts and had 16 game-deciding goals. His 41.4 success rate is 10 percentage points higher than the NHL average.

24. Crosby had 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in 24 games during Pittsburgh's run to the Stanley Cup in 2017. It was his highest single-year postseason total since he set an NHL career high with 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 2008-09, when he also helped the Penguins win the Cup.

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm6: Penguins celebrate Stanley Cup win

25. Crosby has scored three shorthanded goals in his NHL career. Two came in 2009-10, the other in 2010-11. That goal was also the last of the eight shorthanded points he's had in his NHL career.

26. In his 12 NHL seasons, Crosby has won 12 individual awards. They include the Ted Lindsay Award (three times), the Hart, Art Ross, Maurice Richard and Conn Smythe trophies (twice each) and the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award (once, in 2010).

27. Crosby has averaged 3.32 shots on goal per game in his NHL career (2,596 shots in 782 games) and scored on 14.7 percent of them. He has never scored on less than 10.7 percent of his shots in a season (2011-12). His 17.3 shooting percentage last season was the best of his career in any season when he's played more than 41 games.

28. Crosby has made the NHL First All-Star Team or Second All-Star Team seven times. He's made the First All-Star Team four times (2006-07, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2015-16) and the Second All-Star Team three times (2009-10, 2014-15 and 2016-17).

29. Though he's been to the playoffs 11 times, Crosby has scored one postseason overtime goal. It came when he beat Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy 40 seconds into overtime to give Pittsburgh a 3-2 win in Game 2 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final.

30. He may be 30 now, but Crosby isn't going anywhere. On June 28, 2012, he and the Penguins agreed to terms on a 12-year contract extension through the 2024-25 season. The average annual value: $8.7 million.

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