In the realm of professional sports, a player's age often becomes a focal point of discussion as they advance in their career. Yet, Sidney Crosby has effortlessly surpassed all skepticism in the 2023-24 season.
Demonstrating a remarkable uptick in form as the season unfolds, Crosby not only leads the Pittsburgh Penguins in points, tallying an impressive 46, but also in goals, with a total of 26. His momentum shows no signs of waning.
While it's with a bit of reluctance that I bring him up, Alex Ovechkin's performance for the Washington Capitals during the 2021-22 season cannot be overlooked. At the age of 36, he defied naysayers by notching 50 goals and accumulating 90 points. Crosby, mirroring this trajectory, is on a similar path this season. However, there's an even more significant dimension to Crosby's play that captures my attention and speaks volumes about his enduring impact on the game.
His influence in steering the Penguins to victories cannot be overstated — in sports, winning is paramount. This season, the Penguins have faced their fair share of challenges, and their position in the standings has been a departure from what fans typically expect.
Yet, as we delve into 2024, the team finds itself in a respectable 4th place in the Metropolitan Division. It's not the pinnacle of perfection; the Pens have experienced their share of losing streaks, but it's crucial to note that Crosby hasn't been the weak link in these downturns. In fact, it's quite the opposite. If anything, it's time for other team members to emulate Crosby's vigor and determination.
This isn't just about effort; it's about elevating their game to his level, a discussion for another time. Crosby's name is rightfully swirling in MVP talks. He's been selected for the 2024 NHL All-Star game, which celebrates the league's best players. Despite the less-than-stellar results in the standings, the Penguins are still well within reach to pivot the narrative around their standings and solidify their playoff aspirations.
Crosby has excelled not just in offense but also in defense, astonishingly ranking 12th league-wide in defensive metrics. That's nothing short of extraordinary. Sure, if we're nitpicking, his assist numbers could see some improvement, but that's hardly a concern in the grand scheme of things.
This season, Crosby has been nothing short of a powerhouse, a relentless force on the ice. In simple terms, he's the machine that keeps the Penguins in motion. Just feed him the puck, and he'll do the rest.