Let me begin this post by stating that I am both a Penguins fan, as well as a hockey fan. I think there are a lot of great young players in the league today.
With that, it is interesting that the media and hockey people are using the great starts of players like Lecavalier, Kovalchuk and Iginla as a reason to say they are disappointed in Crosby this year, and that he is not the best player in the NHL.
Listen, there will always be a debate between who is a better player. One of my personal issues with that is most people back "their" guy by bashing the "other" guy. There will be none of that here.
Here is a look at what some of the current points leaders did in the NHL when they turned 20:
Player GP Pts.
Lecavalier 68 51
Kovalchuk 81 87
Iginla 70 32
Zetterberg (first NHL year at 22) 79 44
Alfredsson (first NHL year at 25) 82 61
Crosby (full season at 19) 79 120
Crosby (proj at 20) 82 113
After 43 GP at the age of 20, Crosby has 59 pts. So at the half way point this year he has already passed the full year totals of Lecavalier, Iginla and Zetterberg when they were 20, and 2pts away from Alfredsson's total.
The point of the blog is to really put things into perspective:
1. There are great young players in the game today(many I have not included). So let's enjoy them and keep comparisons in perspective.
2. Crosby at the current course and speed, barring anything unforseen, imo will end his hockey career as one of the top 5 best players of all time.
Listen, I understand Penguin fans are lucky to have Crosby. In fact over my 22 years as a Pens fan I have been fortunate enough to watch stars such as Lemieux, Jagr, Crosby, and likely Malkin if he continues his development.
Enjoy the rest of the season, and all the great players we have in our great game.