SUN Hockey Pool

Sidney Crosby on Gretzky-like pace

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby is scoring 1.62 points per game this season. (REUTERS)

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby is scoring 1.62 points per game this season. (REUTERS)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:21 AM ET

Forget the shortened season, what Sidney Crosby is managing this hockey year is stunningly comparable to anything anyone has accomplished in hockey history.

You can add it up.

Crosby is scoring at 1.62 points per game, a number that would give him 133 points were this a full season of play. And while that doesn’t seem anywhere near Wayne Gretzky’s record total of 215 points in a season or Mario Lemieux’s best number at 199 points, it does when you take into account the difference in the game Crosby is playing.

In Crosby’s current NHL, there are 5.57 goals scored in the average game. In Gretzky’s 1985-86 season, there were 2.4 more goals per game than currently are being scored. In Lemieux’s 1988-89 season, the average game had almost two more goals than today’s game does. And that’s not even take into account the difference in the quality of goaltending (and goaltending equipment) and the change in coaching.

What Crosby is producing may not be better than anything Gretzky and Lemieux managed, but it’s certainly historical and in the conversation: And it’s ahead, when factoring in the way the game has changed, of just about everybody other than Lemieux or Gretzky who has played before him.

Should Crosby do this in a full 82-game season, which now seems possible in the future, the gap from 200 to 135 may appear substantial: But it’s nowhere near as wide as the numbers show when the differences in the game are accounted for as well.


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