Barring a catastrophe, tonight’s game against the Panthers will be Crosby’s 915th as a Penguin. For those keeping track at home, this is exactly the amount of games Mario played for the Penguins.
However, this milestone isn’t the only thing where the two franchise cornerstones are tied together at 1 and 2 in Penguins history, as you’d expect (all numbers below via indispensable Hockey Reference). And no, we aren’t talking about their living arrangement or the 66-87 1-2 punch from over a decade ago.
As we look at the numbers below, let’s take a moment to truly appreciate how much of an animal Lemieux was. Crosby is something special, but Lemieux was in a different universe.
Consider this: in 1988-89, Lemieux scored 85 goals, 114 assists and 199 points in 76 games. That year, 79 of his points came on the powerplay (31 goals) and 18 came shorthanded (13 goals). Somehow, he only scored 1 goal in overtime and shot at 27.2% over the course of the season. Let that sink in.
|Lemieux (rank)||Crosby (rank)|
|Goals||690 (1)||434 (3)|
|Era Adjusted Goals||616 (1)||495 (2)|
|Assists||1033 (1)||743 (2)|
|Era Adjusted Assists||924 (1)||829 (2)|
|Points||1723 (1)||1177 (2)|
|Era Adjusted Points||1540 (1)||1324 (2)|
|Powerplay Goals||236 (1)||131 (3)|
|Even Strength Goals||405 (1)||300 (3)|
|Goals Created||649.7 (1)||431.0 (2)|
|Era Adjusted Goals Created||588.0 (1)||496.1 (2)|
|Shots on Goal||3633 (1)||2992 (2)|
|Hat Tricks||40 (1)||11 (3)|
|Total On-Ice Goals For||2165 (1)||1520 (2)|
|On-Ice Powerplay Goals||944 (1)||597 (2)|
|Offensive Point Shares||152.4 (1)||118.2 (2)|
|Overall Point Shares||167.9 (1)||154.1 (2)|
Where Crosby finds himself in 3rd (Goals, PP Goals, Even Strength Goals, and Hat Tricks), you can probably reasonably expect him to take over that #2 spot, provided he has a happy and healthy back 9 of his career.
In fact, he should surpass Jagr’s 439 goals scored this season to move into 2nd all time. He won’t pass Jagr’s 320 even strength goals this season, but next season seems likely. Sid has only had 2 seasons where he scored fewer than the 16 even strength goals he has already this season (the lockout shortened 2013 season where he had 12 in 36 games and the injury shortened 2011-12 season where he scored 6 in 22 games). He’s also only had 2 other seasons where he scored fewer than 20 even strength goals (18 in 53 games in another injury-shortened 07-08 season and 18 in 77 games in 2014-15).
Depending on the day, week, or season, Crosby may see himself in the #2 hole in Powerplay Goals, currently trailing Malkin by 8. Neither of those two will ever come close to matching 66’s 40 (!!!!!!!) hat tricks, but Malkin’s 12 and Crosby’s 11 remain 2 and 3 there, too. Again, depending on the day, Crosby’s there.
But think about that for a second: Lemieux had 40 hat tricks in his career. That means he scored at least 120 of his 690 goals in 40 games. Put another way, he scored more than 17% of his career goals across 40 games. And that doesn’t even account for the games where he scored more than 3 goals. That’s absolute insanity.
And, speaking of Malkin, we’ll be revisiting these numbers next year as Geno starts passing Jagr for 3rd all time across the same board in Penguins history. What a world we’re living in.
Crosby and Malkin do, however, have an edge over 66 and 68 in terms of Cups won as a Penguins player. So that’s neat. But breathe it all in, fam. We could not be any more spoiled.