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Decade Review: Crosby's Point Streak

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

My first day as the Manager of Content for the Pittsburgh Penguins was on Nov. 22, 2010. That night, the team was in Florida to take on the Panthers.

As I was still looking for an apartment after moving to Pittsburgh from Detroit, Michigan, I watched from the Marriott City Center while Sidney Crosby recorded a goal and an assist in a 3-2 win, which was his ninth straight game with a point.

I remember being blown away by that, but I had no idea just how much that feeling would be amplified over the next month-plus.

Over the coming weeks, the Penguins captain continued to pile up the points at a rate that hadn't been seen in years - 18, to be exact. He ended up recording a 25-game point streak from Nov. 5-Dec. 29.

Tweet from @penguins: GOAL! Crosby's point streak extends to 25 games as he scores with 9:26 remaining in the first! #Pens 1, Thrashers 1

It was an accomplishment that was incredible for a number of reasons, primarily because Crosby did it in spite of the game having changed dramatically since Mats Sundin went on a 30-game point streak in 1992.

To this day, the line that Bill Guerin used to describe Crosby's play still sticks out in my mind:

"What Sidney's doing right now, it's like an assault on the game."

Crosby recorded a staggering 26 goals and 50 points over those 25 games. I can't help but shake my head and laugh while typing that because it's just so remarkable.

He became just the fifth player in NHL history to average at least a goal per game during a point streak of 25 contests or more, joining the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman and Bryan Trottier (not even the greatest to ever play the game, Mario Lemieux, accomplished that feat).

During his streak, Crosby scored at least one goal 18 times, netted back-to-back home hat tricks on Nov. 27 against Calgary and Dec. 2 against Atlanta and had 16 multiple-point games while leading the Penguins to a 19-5-1 record.

Tweet from @penguins: Crosby gets the hat trick with an empty-net goal! #Pens up 4-1 over Flames

His blistering pace had him leagues ahead of the NHL's next-highest points producers. Crosby had 13 more points than second-place Steven Stamkos of Tampa Bay when his streak ended on Dec. 29 against the New York Islanders.

And the whole time, it had the hockey world buzzing. Along with his fellow players, legends like Gretzky and Yzerman - who was Crosby's idol growing up - chimed in with their thoughts about what the Penguins captain was doing. I remember looking forward to seeing what people around the league would say after each game of his streak.

It was just such an amazing time, because not only was Crosby having individual success - the Penguins were having team success as well. Pittsburgh recorded an NHL season-high 12-game winning streak from Nov. 17-Dec. 11, which was the second-longest in team history and the eighth-longest (tied) in NHL history at the time.

Tweet from @penguins: #Pens defeated Sabres 5-2 last night. Pens have won 12 in a row & are #1 in the NHL! Read more: http://bit.ly/i35XVJ

I remember other media members joking with me about how I must be good luck, since Crosby's point streak and the Penguins' win streak just kept going and going after I started. But honestly, l just couldn't believe my good luck that I was able to be a part of that.

And now, 10 seasons in, that feeling hasn't gone away. I still can't believe that it's my job to watch the best player in the world do his job. I can't tell you how many times over this last decade that I'd be sitting in the press box after watching Crosby do something magical and a feeling of gratitude just washes over me. I know Penguins fans everywhere feel the same.

Covering him for this last decade has been the privilege of a lifetime. But of all the pinch-me moments over the years, what still stands out the most to me is that 25-game point streak.

As a hockey player and a fan, I had so much respect for Crosby despite watching him defeat my hometown Red Wings just a year prior to win the 2009 Stanley Cup. He was everything you could hope for as the face of the league. As Gretzky said, "He's the real deal and he's very special." I thought I knew that.

But being able to see it up close night after night and watch him just be absolutely dominant, that's when it sunk in just how special he was. It felt like the sky was the limit. And now, two more Stanley Cups, two Conn Smythe Trophies and numerous other accomplishments later, it really has been.

The Penguins were arguably the most successful NHL franchise over the last decade (2010-19). They made the playoffs every season while becoming the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in nearly 20 years. The team provided many memorable moments over that 10-year span. In this Decade Review series website writers Sam Kasan and Michelle Crechiolo, who have been with the team the entire time, highlight the 10 storylines and moments that stand out to them from the past 10 years.

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