Sidney Crosby (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
After a torrid January and start to February that has seen him shoot up the stats leaderboard, Sidney Crosby has a legitimate chance at the Art Ross Trophy.
Unless you've been living under a rock lately you've probably heard that Sidney Crosby has been pretty, pretty, pretty good lately. Back in December when he had only six goals and 17 in points in 25 games he was dogged with the expected "What's wrong with Sidney Crosby?!" questions.
Now, after a torrid January and start to February that has seen him shoot up the stats leaderboard, the question has become "Where will Sidney Crosby finish in the scoring race?"
Here are our picks for where he finishes in the Art Ross hunt:
Crosby will finish -- third
Crosby has been unstoppable since 2016 began. In 16 games, he has 15 goals and 26 points and leads all players in both categories. If he maintains that type of pace for the rest of the regular season, he would score another 47 points making his point total an even 100. That honestly doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility. However, it’s more likely he falls somewhere closer to his career average and scores 1.33 points per game over the remaining 29 contests. That’s another 38 points, which would put Crosby at 91 for the season.
With the way Patrick Kane has played this season, 91 points won’t be enough for Crosby to win the Art Ross. It should be enough to have him finish alongside Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Erik Karlsson, though. Bet on Crosby finishing third, because as hot as he is, Kane and Benn’s early leads will keep them ahead when the season ends. (Jared Clinton)
Crosby will finish -- second
Crosby will finish second. BEHIND ART ROSS WINNER CONNOR MCDAVID. I kid, I kid. But can Crosby catch Patty Kane? Crosby has 26 points in 16 games since Jan. 1, good for 1.625 points per game. Producing at that sizzling pace over Pittsburgh's final 29 contests would give Sid 47 more points. He'd finish with an even 100. What makes things very interesting: the Blackhawks have played 58 games to the Penguins' 53. Kane only has 24 regular season games left. He would need 24 in 24 to finish with 101 and beat the Super-Sid projection. That means a mini-slump from Kane could give Sid a chance. Kane is historically a much better first-half producer, so a dip wouldn't be the craziest thing in the world. Still, it would take a lot for Sid to maintain such a torrid standard for two more months. So I'll predict he makes things close-ish, within 10 points, but still falls short. (Matt Larkin)
Crosby will finish -- top five
I think Crosby ends up with around 90 points - the Penguins are battling for a playoff spot, so there won't be any let-up from here on out. Overall, he finishes top-five in NHL scoring at best, potentially passing Evgeny Kuznetsov. Since the Capitals are so far ahead in the standings, I could see them resting guys a game or two at the end, or at the least decreasing the ice time of stars. Kane, Benn, Eriksson and Seguin aren't going anywhere in terms of the top of the table. (Ryan Kennedy)
Crosby will finish -- second
Crosby is on an incredible hot streak, having scored 31 points in his last 20 games, and it will keep up but there just isn’t enough time to catch Kane in the scoring race. Crosby was written off back in November when numerous “experts” wondered aloud what was wrong with him. He’s proven them all wrong with his current pace. And while I don’t expect him to win the Art Ross, he can certainly make a run. If you look at Crosby’s splits, you’ll see he’s at his best in the second half of the season. In March and April he increases his career 1.33 points per game average to 1.40. Crosby has 31 games left, if he scored at a 1.40 points per game pace he would finish this season with 96 points. That would be enough to catch a defenseman like Erik Karlsson (right? RIGHT?) or the likes of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, but not Kane. (Ian Denomme)