Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby became the 12th fastest player in NHL history to score 1,000 career points after notching an assist against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night, when the Penguins took a 4-3 decision thanks to an overtime goal from -- guess who -- Crosby himself.
Less than seven minutes into the first period, Crosby set up a Chris Kunitz goal for the esteemed accolade, becoming the 86th player of all time to reach the 1,000-point mark. The longtime Pens standout racked up 368 goals and 632 assists to become Mr. 1,000.
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The third player to hit 1,000 career points this season, Crosby is also the third Penguin to record 1,000 points solely in the Pittsburgh organization, joining Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux. The two-time Stanley Cup winner, who is the 11th youngest to reach the 1,000-point total, currently leads the NHL in goals and ranks among the top three points scorers.
After the big night for Sid, here are a few things to note:
1. The Pittsburgh legend is solidified (even if we all knew it already was)
What’s perhaps more impressive than Crosby’s 1,000th career point is the fact that it came for the same Pens that also enabled him to score his first-ever point. No matter how you slice it, joining Jagr and Lemieux in 1,000-point company and with Pittsburgh as the only team to grace his presence is a big feat for Crosby.
Love him or hate him, at some level, you have to respect him. And even though we all were already well aware that he has cemented his status among Penguins greats, the 1,000th career point doesn’t hurt. If anything, it’s just a well-anticipated touch of icing on a cake that’s been in the oven for quite some time.
2. Time sure flies when you’re having fun and scoring points
This is more about nostalgia than the impact of Crosby’s historic accomplishment, which was bound to arrive and will long be celebrated in Steel City. Actually, it’s a testament to just how much Crosby has done, even with his noted injury concerns, over the course of his career.
It seems like only yesterday the superstar center was a fresh talent on the ice, the No. 1 pick in 2005 with an (in)famously camera-ready look and hardly any experience in the NHL. And yet, at the same time, Crosby has for so long now been a staple of Penguins hockey and, if we’re being honest, one of the few consistently recognizable faces of the entire league.
Time flies when you’re making plays, starting debates and, most of all, scoring points. And Sidney has certainly done it all.
3. We’ve only just begun
Health issues aside, Crosby isn’t exactly an aging star, either, at 29. No, he’s not No. 1 pick young anymore, by any means. But the 1,000th career point should also be a reminder of Sid’s continued dominance as much as it is a symbol of all that he has worked to achieve with the Pens. He is still atop the league when it comes to scoring, remember?
It’s 1,000 today, and the number will keep on climbing tomorrow. Like it or not, we’re watching a legend play. And if Thursday’s outing was any indication, the legend still has plenty more where that -- those 1,000 points -- came from.