Sidney Crosby is a one-of-a-kind player who scores one-of-a-kind goals. Of course, he's found the back of the net with tons of wrist shots, snap shots, slap shots, backhands and tips over the years. But here's a look at some of the more unique tallies he's potted (a few having come this season) on his way to 1,000 points…
BEHIND THE NET
Mario Lemieux was known for his ability to score goals from along or below the goal line, either with a deadly accurate shot or a purposeful bank off of the goaltender. Crosby has emulated his former landlord by scoring two such goals this season alone.
And the thing about plays like that, teammate Patric Hornqvist said, is that only a handful of players can even attempt to make them. Head coach Mike Sullivan agreed. "I've seen Sid score a number of goals like that," he said. "There aren't too many players in the league that would think to make that type of a play. I've seen him score a number of goals where it may look to the casual fan as a fluke goal or happenstance goal, but to me it is a really skilled play, and a really heads-up play by a guy that thinks the game differently than most."
Crosby did it on Nov. 5 at San Jose and again on Dec. 1 versus Dallas. The latter time, he knocked an airborne puck off the back of Stars netminder Antti Niemi and into the net for the game-winning goal. The play began when Crosby collected the puck below the goal line and threw it toward the net. Niemi made the save, but the puck popped into the air. Crosby took a second whack with Niemi leaning off of the post and the puck found its way through.
Video: DAL@PIT: Crosby bats puck out of midair into the net
Crosby's favorite sport growing up was baseball. He played it as a kid, and that ability has crept into his play on the ice. An elite athlete like Crosby has elite hand-eye coordination, and that was never more apparent than in a game against Arizona on Dec. 12.
During a second-period power play, a shot from Evgeni Malkin deflected off Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue's stick, hit the post and popped high into the air. Crosby had the presence of mind to realize if he tried whacking at it then, he'd be called for a high stick.
So Crosby patiently waited for the puck to fall low enough for him to legally take a swing at it. His timing was perfect, as he made contact - even with Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone waving his stick at the puck as well - and homered it into the open net.
Video: ARI@PIT: Crosby waits, bats puck in out of midair
It's hard enough to make plays in this league standing on both legs. It's infinitely more difficult from both knees. But of course, Crosby has managed to do it.
On Dec. 31, 2015 at Detroit, as Crosby was trying to one-time a pass from David Perron, he fell. But despite that, Crosby continued to whack at the puck and was able to snipe it just under the crossbar for a huge goal.
Crosby did something similar on Jan. 9, 2007 at Tampa Bay. He had gotten a step on the Lightning defender, who tripped him up thinking he was preventing a goal. Well, this is Sidney Crosby we're talking about. From his knees, Crosby held onto the puck and fired a snapshot blocker-side for the score.
Crosby had scored another goal in the first game of a home-and-home series against the Lightning on Jan. 7 that both Mark Recchi and Evgeni Malkin have pointed out as their signature Sid moment (and one Crosby himself remembers fondly).
With the clock ticking down the final seconds of the second period, Recchi headed up the ice for one final scoring attempt. Crosby recognized the play unfolding and hustled hard to be the option on a 2-on-1. Recchi slapped a hard pass across the ice to Crosby, who dove on his belly, reached out and tipped it in.
"I'm behind and I saw everything," Malkin said. "He started in the Dzone and he sees Mark Recchi a little bit in front of him. And he just started to skate so hard and go in a straight line, and I just knew he was going to score because he went so hard. He's so hungry to score and I remember he dove and just a little chip to the puck. It's an amazing goal."
Crosby's known for being tremendously strong, and for his backhand being just as good as his forehand with the flat blade he uses. That was never more apparent then when he scored a one-handed, backhand goal on Nov. 5 at San Jose.
Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was going back for a puck, with Crosby right behind him. As Vlasic went to sweep it into the corner, Crosby provided resistance by reaching out with one hand and backhanding it into the corner of the net.
Video: PIT@SJS: Crosby puts second of the night past Jones
SPLITTING THE D
When people talk about what makes Crosby so special, they usually point to his work ethic as being the most important thing. Lemieux himself - arguably the most talented skater to ever play - said as much at the 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.
"He's the hardest working guy out there. Whether it's at practice or a three-on-three game at practice, he wants to win, he wants to be the best," Lemieux said.
That manifests itself in Crosby's many goals scored by having to barrel his way through two or more defenders. For example, in a game against Montreal on March 16, 2007 at Mellon Arena, Crosby took the puck through the neutral zone, stickhandled through three Canadiens players before wristing a shot into the net - all while falling. If he keeps it up, Crosby could have his own statue outside of PPG Paints Arena similar to Lemieux's - which shows him bursting through two defensemen on his way to the goal.
Video: 2013 Round 1, Gm 5: Sidney Crosby splits Islanders D