Crosby’s Return to Form Spells Good News for Penguins

USATSI_9097405_154158418_lowresIt’s safe to say that Sidney Crosby is back.

Back in October of 2015, we discussed the disappointment of the 28-year-old from Cole Harbour. In 10 games, he’d managed just five points. He was held without a point in eight of 10 games, but he did show flashes of greatness from time to time.

Now, however, it’s a different story. Crosby has 49 points in 50 games, including 22 goals and 27 assists. He has nine power play goals and six game-winners, with 158 total shots on target.

On Saturday night, Crosby scored his 900th career point and added his 901st and his 902nd. Only 10 players in National Hockey League history have reached 900 points in fewer games than the Pittsburgh Penguins centre.

The point explosion finds him on a 10-game scoring streak, with 10 goals and eight assists in that period. That’s the third longest scoring streak of the season so far and it puts him in the top 10 in overall points, which is a far cry from where he sat in October and November of last year.

It goes without saying that Crosby is one of those players who can overcome a slump and still put in a fantastic season. 2015-2016 could be another one.

As we speculated in October, “(s)mart money says that Crosby will find his pace eventually and start picking up some serious points, especially once he figures out how to adapt to the tighter style of play in Pittsburgh.”

The Penguins now find themselves with a 26-18-7 record, good for fourth in the Metropolitan Division. They’ll have to continue their winning ways to ensure a playoff spot, of course, but Crosby’s return to form has given them a necessary boost.

Right now, many are speculating that Pittsburgh could pull off a little something in time for the trade deadline. There are clear needs for the Penguins, namely in terms of finding an adequate defenceman to help Kris Letang hold it down, but there may not be much action on the market for them. With so many clubs in contention for the post-season and limited cap space available, February 29 could be a slow day.

That may not matter much, especially for the Penguins. The club can always make adjustments on the back end (I’m looking at you, Derick Pouliot) and hope for the best. And, best of all, they’ve got Crosby back to his scoring ways.

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