(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Sidney Crosby reached 100 points for the fifth time in his career Tuesday night. And the enormity of the accomplishment should not be underrated.
Rest easy, NHL. You don't have to relive Dead Puck Era embarrassments like Martin St-Louis' 94-point scoring title in 2003-04.
That's because Pittsurgh's Sidney Crosby reached the century mark Tuesday night, assisting on Chris Kunitz's first-period goal:
Bit of a generous second assist to Crosby? Probably, as Carolina appeared to have brief position before Lee Stempniak poked the puck loose. But we knew 'Sid the Kid' was going to hit 100 any moment, anyway.
With the helper, Crosby reached 100 points for the fifth time in his nine-season career. What's special about this time: injuries and a lockout kept Sid from hitting the milestone for four years. It's nice to see it happen for someone whose career was in flux due to concussions two-and-a-half years ago.
The significance of what Crosby has done can't be underrated. Second-place Ryan Getzlaf sits 17 points back at 83, meaning Crosby has 20.4 percent more points than the next-closest player. His offensive production is light years ahead of the pack in a season when league-wide goals have been hard to come by.
Crosby is the 18th player in league history to record five 100-point seasons...and he's still just 26. He's hit triple digits more than Brett Hull, Ron Francis, Adam Oates and Luc Robitaille. He'll win his second Art Ross Trophy and likely his second Hart and third Lindsay Trophies after this season. Add to that a Rocket Richard, Stanley Cup and two Olympic gold medals, not to mention the fourth-highest points per game in league history, and you have a man who belongs in the Hall of Fame even if he retires tomorrow.
Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blog. For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Follow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin