Sidney Crosby, who keyed the Penguins’ second-half turnaround this year, was voted team MVP for the sixth time in his career.
Only Hall of Fame owner Mario Lemieux (12 times) has won the award more often.
When the Penguins appointed Mike Sullivan to head coach on Dec. 12, Crosby’s offensive game hit its stride, lifting the Penguins from out of a playoff position into their current second-place standing in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the New York Rangers in the battle for home-ice advantage in the opening round.
Since Dec. 12, Crosby is the NHL’s leading scorer with 61 points (26G-35A) in just 48 games, helping the Penguins amass the league’s fourth-best record (tied) since that date at 29-15-5.
Overall, Crosby ranks third in the NHL scoring race with 80 points (32G-48A), including a league-best 21 points in March when he was named NHL ‘First Star’ of the month. Crosby had points in 15 of 16 games in March, helping the Penguins go 12-4 during their busiest stretch of the campaign.
It’s not just the points that make Crosby most valuable to the Penguins, but also how clutch he has been when his teammates have needed him most. As of today, his career-high eight game-winning goals are tied for second-most in the NHL.
The Penguins have had to play the past 10 games without Evgeni Malkin, with six of those games coming against playoff teams. Pittsburgh has gone 9-1 during this stretch, with Crosby contributing four goals and 13 points. Two of his goals have been game-winning markers.
Earlier this week the Penguins announced five other team awards via the club’s social media accounts:
Masterton Trophy nominee (as voted by the PHWA) – Pascal Dupuis
Edward J. DeBartolo Memorial Community Service Award – Sidney Crosby
Rookie of the Year – Bryan Rust
Defensive Player of the Year – Kris Letang
Players’ Player Award – Marc-Andre Fleury
Letang and Fleury both won their respective awards for the second-straight season. Crosby also won the community service award in 2009-10.