Can Crosby claim title as NHL’s most skilled player? (4)

Is Sidney Crosby the most skilled player in NHL history?

The story:

The emotions after this one should have been sky high. Sidney Crosby scored what may become the goal of the year in the NHL. It was even one of the best ever for him. The Penguins clinched a playoff spot with their 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Tuesday, getting a key goal from Nick Bonino, digging themselves out of a sluggish first period and killing a penalty against the NHL’s best power play late. The Penguins improved to 46-17-9. Their 101 points trail only Washington (102) and are one more than Chicago (100). Columbus has 100 points and has played one fewer game than the other three.

This goal:

Another angle:

Ryan Wilson on Crosby:

Don’t forget to do your forearm curls, kids. Sidney Crosby has scored many highlight reel goals throughout his career. This one deserves to be included among the best he has ever scored. He is known throughout hockey for having the best backhand in the sport, but I’m not sure many people thought that would include roofing one handed shots on breakaways. The one handed shot was the most physically impressive part of the goal, but as a coach of high school players I would like to highlight the fact that he didn’t go through a single Buffalo players tripod area. He used his speed to go around and not through.

Crosby’s backhand:

Ever since his son was little, Troy Crosby tried to stress the importance of having a good backhand. Not only as a helpful hockey dad, but as a former goaltender, drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, who was keenly aware of what drives his kind crazy. “I remember my dad telling me to try and be comfortable on your backhand,” Sidney Crosby said. “It’s an important skill. I think it was something that probably came easy to me. Some guys are more comfortable there. That was the case.” Crosby’s backhander has always been better than that of his peers, and that has become even more obvious during his goal-scoring resurgence this season, the second 40-goal season of his career and his best total (41) since scoring 51 in 2009-10. Five of Crosby’s 41 goals this season (12.2 percent) have via backhand, including two of the past three. That’s impressive, sure, but it actually falls short of his career numbers (54 of 379, 14.2 percent).

All in the same game:

Crosby’s year:

The tally was Crosby’s 41st of the year, putting him four ahead of Bruins forward Brad Marchand for the NHL lead and vaulting him into sole possession for second in points with 81, one behind fellow Hart Trophy candidate and league leader Connor McDavid. Including his natural hat trick on Sunday, Crosby has four goals in his last two games and has put up 14 points (seven goals) in his last 10 as he leads the surging Penguins toward another run at the Cup.

The Pens since Crosby:

Crosby highlight reel:


What do you think? Is Crosby the most skilled?

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