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Look Back: Crosby's 25-Game Point Streak

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
Eighteen years.

That’s how long it had been since an NHL player embarked on a point streak like the one Penguins captain Sidney Crosby put together from Nov. 5 to Dec. 28 – a 25-game stretch.

Hopefully that sheds some light on how special Crosby truly is and how incredible his accomplishment was, because looking back, it’s still hard to fathom the magnitude of what the 23-year-old superstar did last season.

Not only did Crosby became the first player in 18 years to record such a stretch since Mats Sundin went on a 30-game streak in 1992 with a team that hasn’t existed for 15 years – the Quebec Nordiques – but Crosby did it in spite of the game having changed dramatically since then. Points are nowhere near being produced at the same clip they once were thanks to tighter defenses and a much more leveled playing field.

But somehow, Crosby still managed to produce the 11th-longest (tied) point streak in the NHL’s 94-year history and third-longest streak in Penguins franchise history.

Crosby’s feat is the type that draws new fans to the game because of the “wow” factor it brings, and is the type of accomplishment that has hockey’s legends discussing how unique of a player Crosby is.

Wayne Gretzky – whose 51-game point streak recorded in 1983-84 with Edmonton is still the longest-ever in NHL history – called Crosby “the real deal …  he’s really something special.” Former Penguin and linemate of Crosby, Billy Guerin, called Crosby’s play “an assault on the game.” According to Leafs coach Ron Wilson on how to stop Crosby, “If it was that easy, everybody would be shutting (Crosby) down. He’s a special player. You have to minimize the damage.”

That’s just to name a few.


And while the length of the streak is impressive, the amount of points Crosby piled up during that span must be looked at as well.

He wasn’t flying along at a point-per-game pace. Try double that.

Crosby recorded a staggering 50 points over those 25 games – 26 goals and 24 assists. 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 Gretzky, Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman and Bryan Trottier.

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.

During his streak, Crosby scored at least one goal 18 times, netted back-to-back home hat tricks, had 16 multiple-point games while leading the Penguins to a 19-5-1 record.

But while all good things must come to an end, the journey to 25 games was never dull.

While team success always comes first, you couldn’t help but root for Crosby’s streak to continue, especially as the string of games continued to stretch. Some nights, it seemed seconds away from ending – but somehow, someway, the center’s name would find its way onto the scoresheet and into the history books.

Take, for example, the Penguins’ Dec. 28 tilt against Ottawa. Crosby was on the verge of seeing his streak halted at 24 games as the Penguins were down 3-0 to the Senators with 3:22 remaining on the clock – but that’s all the time he needed.

In a classic display of grit and determination by the captain, Crosby battled his way out of the corner and drove to the net, where he stuffed his own rebound past Senators goalie Brian Elliott to ensure his streak would live, albeit for one more game.

While Crosby was in the midst of the best season of his career when he was sidelined with a concussiom, the young captain still has many years ahead of him to try and recreate the magic he produced in 2010.

  • Named the NHL’s ‘Second Star’ for the week ending Nov. 14 after tallying 8 points (3G-5A) in 3 games.
  • Named the NHL’s ‘Third Star’ for the week ending Nov. 28 after recording 7 points (4G-3A) in 4 games to help the Penguins to a perfect 4-0 record.
  • Named NHL ‘First Star’ for the month of November after he led all scorers for the month with 26 points (12G-14A) in 14 games.
  • Named the NHL’s ‘First Star’ for the week ending Dec. 5 after scoring 5 goals and 6 points in 3 games.
  • Named the NHL’s ‘Third Star’ for the week ending Dec. 26 after notching 7 points (4G-3A) in 4 games as the Penguins went 3-1.
  • Named NHL ‘First Star’ for the month of December. Crosby, who earned the award for the second-straight month, led all players with 24 points (14G-10A) in 13 games.

NOV. 5 – Crosby’s streak begins with a pair of goals in a 3-2 win over Anaheim.

NOV. 15 – Earns an assist on Chris Kunitz's goal with just 2:31 remaining in regulation in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers, which turns out to be the latest Crosby records a point on his streak.

NOV. 27 – Scored his first hat trick of the season – and sixth of his career – in a 4-1 victory over Calgary at CONSOL Energy Center. Crosby became the sixth player in franchise history to score 200 career goals. He scored each goal a different way – even strength, power play and shorthanded.

DEC. 2 – Scored all three Pittsburgh goals to record his second hat trick of the season and seventh of his career in a 3-2 win over Atlanta at CONSOL Energy Center. Crosby became the first Penguin to record hat tricks in back-to-back home games since Alex Kovalev in 2001.

DEC. 6 – Netted the game-winning goal and an assist in a 2-1 victory over Atlantic Division rival New Jersey in his 400th NHL game.

DEC. 14 – Tied his career-high point streak – 19 games – against none other than cross-state rival Philadelphia in a 3-2 Flyers win.

DEC. 28 – Scored four points (2G-2A) to extend his point streak to a career-high 25 games, the third-longest streak in franchise history and the 11th-longest (tied) all-time in the NHL in a 6-3 victory over Atlanta at CONSOL Energy Center.

For a look back at some of the coverage from Crosby's incredible point streak, check out:

GM # Date Opp.  Points Video
6 11/15 1A Highlights
12 11/27 3G Highlights | Hat Trick
14 12/2 3G Highlights | Hat Trick
16 12/6 1G, 1A Highlights
19 12/14 2A Highlights
25 12/28 2G, 2A Highlights | Streak Hits 25
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