Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Next Great One?

Crosby celebrating after a goal, something he has done many times this season

Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all time, and his stats and records are unbreakable. Hence his nickname "The Great One", Gretzky is the greatest hockey player ever.

But now that his time is up, along with other great hockey players like Mario Lemeiux, Brett Hull, and Jaromir Jagr, there are new faces to the NHL.

These faces are Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and possibly the next great one: Sidney Crosby.

Gretzky played in an era where goalie equipment wasn't as efficient as it is today, and it was much easier to score goals but regardless of the pads his stats are ridiculous.

During his time on the ice Gretzky recorded 894 goals, 1,963 assists, and totaled for 2,857 points. His season best include 92 goals (in 80 games), 163 assists (in 80 games) and 215 goals (in 80 games). Today, it is rare for a player to score over 50 goals and total over 120 points. Those stats are nearly half of "The Great One's"

Gretzky also won 3 Gold Medals for Canada at the Olympics and won 4 Stanley Cups for the Edmonton Oilers. He also played for the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.

Now for Crosby:

His first year in the league was in '05 and he recorded 102 points. He also became the NHL's youngest Captain ever, just being 19 years old. Also, besides an injury plagued, off year in '07, Crosby has recorded over 100 points in every season, including a career best 51 goals last season.

Crosby already has broken several NHL Records, not nearly as many as Gretzky, but he's getting there.

Crosby is the youngest player ever to record 100 points ,as well as 100 points and penalty minutes in a season.  He then became the youngest player to record 200 points, at just 19 years of age. After his first 2 seasons he became the youngest player to record two 100 point seasons in a row. He was the youngest player to start in an all-star game and to even play in one. He was also the youngest to win the Ross and Pearson awards.

Do you get the point?

Also Crosby was the youngest player to lead the whole NHL in points. 2 years ago when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, Crosby became the youngest captain to win Lord Stanley's cup.

Crosby has also gotten great accolades in international play.

Crosby scored the Game Winning Goal to
Lead Canada to the Gold Medals
He helped lead Canada last year to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Gold Medal Game vs the United States. Although the US defeated Canada in group play, Crosby and Canada got the better of the US the 2nd time around.

The game was in OT when Crosby scored the game winning goal past Ryan Miller.

All of this has been said about Crosby, and I haven't even began talking about this season.

Crosby's stats this season are Gretzky like.

He has 65 points in 39 games. He is on track for about 140. Out of those 65 points he has a league leading 32 goals and 3rd best 33 assist. He leads the NHL in points by 9.

Crosby's success came during a 25 point streak that was recently ended. Even Gretzky's longest streak was at 25 games too. During those 25 games he had over 50 points. He also helped the Penguins land the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Crosby has been unstoppable this season and is the leading candidate for the Hart award, which is the NHL's MVP award.

Tonight he plays his rival Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, in the annual Winter Classic Game, which is being played outdoors at Heinz Field.

With Crosby playing the way he is, come 15 years, the NHL might have another "great one"

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