Sidney Crosby doesn’t need a stick to create scoring chances anymore

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

For a player known as one of the greatest passers of all time, Sidney Crosby has scored some remarkable goals in his career as a Pittsburgh Penguin

The Penguins scored a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers that started and ended on Sidney Crosby’s stick. That’s not uncommon at all for the Pens, but when Crosby is stick-less for all but 10 seconds of the rush, well, that’s a first.

When Brian Dumoulin broke his stick in the Penguins’ defensive zone early in the second period against the Flyers, Crosby passed his stick to his defensive teammate, and as if the hockey gods planned it, the puck found itself sliding to Dumoulin in front of his net.

Dumoulin sent a breakout pass to Kris Letang, who tore off into the neutral zone and the Flyers’ zone, attempting to beat Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere with an inside, outside move. Letang wasn’t able to get a shot off, but the puck bounced off Flyers goaltender Carter Hart’s pads after he mistimed his poke and slid out so temptingly just outside the crease.

Crosby, who crossed behind Letang during the transition, flew by the Penguins’ bench at top speed, grabbed a perfectly placed stick from Pens’ equipment manager Jon Taglianetti, and finished off the rush by following the play and slapping that puck right through Hart’s five-hole.

In a career of marvelous goals, this one is way up there. The defensive awareness, the indomitable hustle, the strength to break the defensive coverage from Flyers forward Nolan Patrick and the shot to beat Hart.

At 33 years old, Crosby is still out of this world. It was the definition of a Crosby goal. Just for fun, here are a few other Crosby goals that show just how far out of this world he truly is. (Excluding the Golden Goal, of course).

November 21, 2011 — Crosby sets off a Sonic Boom inside Consol Energy Center

Crosby hadn’t played hockey in nearly a year after taking a head shot from Capitals forward David Steckel in the 2011 Winter Classic and a subsequent hit into the boards from Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman when he returned to the Penguins’ lineup against the Islanders.

Sid hopped over the boards, skated back into the defensive zone and created an Islanders’ turnover to start a chance the other way. He received a pass in the neutral zone, exploded into the Penguins’ zone while protecting the puck, glided around an Isles’ defender and roofed a perfect backhander into the back of the net.

Just six minutes into his first hockey game in nearly a year, Crosby made sure to let the world know he never truly left. His roar of passion, perhaps unsuitable for the ears of children, was drowned out by the nuclear explosion of noise at Consol.

March 21, 2017 — A Herculean effort to stop the Buffalo Sabres

This may have been the most impressive goal Crosby has ever scored, and that’s saying a lot.

Starting the breakout in his defensive zone, Crosby knifed across the blue line, avoiding perennial Selke Trophy candidate Ryan O’Reilly and split the Sabres’ defense with the puck on his backhand — just one hand actually on his stick.

With a feat of Herculean strength, Crosby used just one hand to backhand a puck up over Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner’s glove.

Crosby is known for his lower body strength, but the strength and poise to use just one hand to backhand a puck past an NHL goaltender while fending off a defenseman is basically impossible. For mortal beings at least…

March 24, 2018 — Not one but two mid-air deflections to beat Carey Price

Crosby started a play along the offensive boards against the Montreal Canadiens, firing a puck toward Jake Guentzel that was tipped by Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry. Guentzel managed to get his stick on the puck, batting it up into the air toward where Crosby had cut off the wall.

Crosby batted it to himself once and quickly batted it again — backhand this time — past Canadiens goaltender Carey Price. The hand-eye coordination to bat a puck out of the air not once but twice during an NHL game is unparalleled.

That the effort beat an All-World goaltender like Price was just the icing on the cake.

October 24, 2018 — Crosby beats the whole Oilers team for OT winner

Up-and-coming Oilers forward Connor McDavid had an ice-level seat to watch Sid showcase just why he’s been the best hockey player in the world for the past decade and a half.

McDavid simply watched, practically immobile, as Crosby skated in the Oilers’ zone, turned on a dime, and deked between Oilers forward Ryan Strome’s legs before skating around Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot. Crosby showcased his patience next, outwaiting Talbot until he could send a backhander past him. You know, just for the overtime winner.

A clinic of puckhandling and patience from the master, showing that the torch wasn’t being handed off just quite yet.

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Which Sidney Crosby goal is your favorite? Is it one of the ones above or a completely different one? Let me know in the comments below!