- Neil Greenberg, NHL
Up until the "Battle of Cole Harbour" Monday night, Sidney Crosby had tallied at least one point in each of the Pittsburgh Penguins' eight games. His hat trick in the Penguins' 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 12 was followed by a three-assist night in Edmonton. It helped solidify a league-best 1.89 points per game; not only is that figure the best in the NHL this season, it's the best pace of Crosby's career (and he's no stranger to big point totals).
Beyond the traditional score sheet, ignoring special teams and lead-protecting situations, the Pens have seen over 63 percent of shots in their favor when Crosby skates and 53.2 percent from those same linemates when he doesn't. That has helped propel him to seven goals and 10 assists through nine games -- a 64-goal, 155-point pace over an 82-game season. In other words, we have a chance to see something special.
But how special? Is it likely The Kid tops the post-lockout best of Joe Thornton, who registered 125 points in 2005-06? Could Sid again reach the 120-point plateau like he did as a 19-year-old during the 2006-07 campaign? How about becoming the first player since Mario Lemieux (1995-96) to top 150 points? Let's take a look.
11dScott Burnside and Craig Custance