Crosby chasing Gretzky, Lemieux as game's greatest offensive catalyst
Sidney Crosby attained a pair of career milestones recently, tallying his 250th career goal and 450th career assist to push past the 700-point mark. The NHL points leader is the sixth player in franchise history to score at least 250 goals, joining Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Jean Pronovost, Rick Kehoe and Kevin Stevens. The 450-assist, 700-point clubs are more exclusive; Lemieux, Jagr and Crosby are the only Pens members.
Crosby's ascent on the NHL's leaderboards has been slowed only by injuries. Among active skaters, he needed the fewest games played to notch 700 career points. Crosby's primary competition for the title of the NHL's top player, Alex Ovechkin, played the equivalent of another full season before reaching 700.
Fewest games played to reach 700 points among active players
Player Team Games
Sidney Crosby Penguins 497
Teemu Selanne Jets/Ducks 531
Jaromir Jagr Penguins 557
Alex Ovechkin Capitals 579
Dany Heatley Thrashers/Senators/Sharks 685
As of age 26, Crosby has the fifth-most points per game (1.41) in NHL history, trailing just Wayne Gretzky, Lemieux, Mike Bossy and Jari Kurri. That sells Crosby's offensive prowess short. The Pens' captain has played during a much less scoring-happy era (teams have registered an average of 7.58 points per game from 2005-06 to the present) than Bossy (9.7 team points per game) and Kurri (10.3).
Once you adjust for league-wide scoring levels, Crosby ranks as the third-best offensive player at this stage of his career.
Share and share alike
Highest OPS per Game as of age 26
Player Years OPS/Game
Wayne Gretzky 1980-87 .191
Mario Lemieux 1985-1992 .162
Sidney Crosby 2006-2014 .142
Bobby Orr 1967-1975 .139
Alex Ovechkin 2006-12 .137
David Golebiewski is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Predators winger Neal caught ‘blindsided’ by trade from Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Malkin returns to center
- Penguins notebook: Team pays tribute to Ottawa shooting victims
- Penguins equipment manager attends to multitude of details
- Bortuzzo could provide much-needed physical presence for Penguins
- Penguins notebook: Johnston blends music, practice for local students
- Penguins forward Downie becoming a hit with teammates
- Bortuzzo, if healthy, could provide much-needed physical presence on blue line for Penguins
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Testing legs, giving backup goalie a chance are Penguins’ priorities
- Whitehall’s Gibson makes Consol debut for Ducks