Celebrating the Best of Sidney Crosby’s 500 Career Goals

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The illustrious career of Sidney Crosby has seen many accolades over the years. The Captain continued to add to those by scoring his 500th career NHL goal on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers in his 1,077th career game.

In the least shocking development all-time, Crosby’s domination of the Flyers continued with his 50th career goal against the Pens’ dreaded rivals. 10% of Crosby’s goals in his career have come against Philadelphia. That’s just perfect.

With a shot from the half boards, Crosby buried it behind Carter Hart and was then mobbed by the entire Pens’ bench upon scoring.

Crosby likely won’t be deemed the best to ever do it. Some people may give him that distinction. But the overwhelming majority will agree that the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux rank chiefly to Sid. However, an argument could be made that he is truly the third best player to ever play the game.

The height of his prime was as impressive as anything these eyes have gotten the pleasure of watching unfold. A vast majority of it was stolen by his concussion issues too which is a shame. Despite being in his mid-30’s and on the back nine of his career, Crosby continues to play at an elite level and remains a top talent in the game.

Now is a time to celebrate Crosby. I’d like to take the time to review some of the best goals of his career. They won’t be ranked in any particular order and they will only include goals scored in the regular season. Yes, the Golden Goal will be omitted. But we all know the significance of that one.

Crosby has scored so many incredible goals in his career, I’d rather use this space to look back on other goals that may have been lost in the shuffle along the way.

Without further ado, here are my submissions.

The Comeback Goal

Losing out on a portion of Sidney Crosby’s prime will forever be a sad thought. He was playing incredible hockey at the time of his concussions that took entirely too much of his playing career away.

The anticipation upon his return was abundant. He’d go through a few days of practice and everyone would get their hopes up only to find out his symptoms continues to persist. It was hard to watch as a fan wondering if Crosby would ever suit up in a Penguins uniform again.

Finally, on November 21, 2011, those questions were answered.

Just 5:34 into the first period, Crosby corralled a pass from Pascal Dupuis and roofed it backhand like only Sid can do.

The ensuing scream from Crosby was something that rhymed with “Puck Yeah!” The roof was also blown off of what was then named the Consol Energy Center with the eruption from the crowd.

Naturally, Crosby finished that game with four points enroute to a win over the Islanders.

Click link to view goal:

Sid undresses Oilers in overtime

Who can forget this absolute beauty?

Ever since Connor McDavid’s arrival in the NHL, Crosby and the Edmonton Oiler phenom have been compared as much as any tandem in recent NHL history outside of Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

So what better way to prove you’re the better player than by undressing McDavid’s team with him on the ice bearing witness?

It was the epitome of Crosby goals. There aren’t many players in the league better with their edge work than Crosby. He took the puck below the goal line, quickly shifted his momentum and then went between the legs on Oilers forward Ryan Strome.

He keeps pushing the envelope and waited out goalie Cam Talbot for as long as he possible could before potting a beauty of a backhand past him as McDavid looks on.

It’s just as sweet as it sounds if you’d like to take a look for yourself.

Click link to view goal:

Taking on four Canadiens, Crosby scores

Nothing truly amazes me anymore with Crosby. He does stupidly awesome stuff all of the time. It’s sad that I expect it anymore.

Attempting to go through four defenders is nothing we haven’t seen Evgeni Malkin try on a nightly basis, amirite? But when all four of those defenders can’t prevent you from scoring on them, you’re doing something right.

Crosby had absolutely no room on this goal back in 2007. He skated directly into a swarm of Canadiens’ defenders and then made a little jump move to his left and guided the puck past the goaltender.

Describing the goal really does it no justice. You’ve got to watch it to truly appreciate how dominant of a goal it was.

Click link to view goal:

One-handed flick against the Sabres

The Sabres are very similar to the Pirates in the vein that they always hang out in the cellar and often have talent that finds more success in other organizations than their own.

So it’s no surprise that Crosby was able to score one of his best goals on such a hapless hockey organization.

Most players struggle to score a goal with two hands on their stick. Ask Dominik Simon. Crosby, however, needed only one hand to flick this puck past Robin Lehner.

The Captain gathered the puck in his own zone and had no intentions of passing. He used his speed and parted the blue seas as he skated right through the defense and used one arm to shield the puck from a defender while using the other to casually flick the puck past Lehner.

The puck leaves his stick so quickly, it’s hard to see how and where he even got the shot off. Just pure insanity and talent from Sid.

Click link to view goal:

Hand-eye goals vs. Devils and Canadiens

Hand-eye coordination is a key attribute to Crosby’s sustained success over almost two decades. He smashed a few home runs with these two goals.

The first one is against the New Jersey Devils.

Crosby takes a pass from Kris Letang in overtime and had more time than he realized. He settled the puck down and waits for Bryan Rust to join him on a two-on-one. Crosby shoots, rings it off the post and then bats it out of mid-air on Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid.

Click link to view goal:

The second one came against the Canadiens. It was an indefensible play that tied the game late in the second period.

Crosby made a pass from the corner to Jake Guentzel in front. As Crosby heads to the net, the puck bounces into mid-air off of Guentzel’s stick. Without hesitation, No. 87 bats the puck forward and then swings at it on the backhand in mid-air and buries it behind Habs goaltender Carey Price.

Click link to view goal:

The Bank is Open

Crosby spent a long portion of his career victimizing recently retired Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist to no end. Sid has scored more goals on Lundqvist than any goalie he’s faced in his career with 24. Jaroslav Halak is the next closest with 14 goals allowed.

So it’s pretty fitting that a goal Lundqvist allows makes the list.

If you’ll remember, Crosby and the Penguins got so far under Lundqvist’s skin in a playoff game, he flipped over the net in the middle of a play while throwing a temper tantrum. It was one of the most “we’re in his head” moments I’ve seen in a professional sports setting.

This goal didn’t happen in that game, though.

Crosby took the puck below the goal line and started skating backwards towards the side boards. His intention became clearer with every passing millisecond.

Sid eventually shot the puck from below the goal line along the side board, hit Lundqvist in the back of the helmet and ricocheted the puck into the net. All Lundqvist and the Rangers could do was shake their head in utter disbelief. Crosby really did it to them again.

Click link to view goal:

Diving 2-on-1 vs Lightning

“The Wrecking Ball” Mark Recchi and Crosby hooked up for a lot of goals early in Sid’s career. This one was one of the more impressive ones.

Crosby and Recchi were skating aggressively on opposite wings as time ticked away late in the second period. Down 1-0, the Pens needed a late goal to tie.

As they approached the net two-on-one, Recchi hit Crosby with a pass that was a bit out of Sid’s reach…on skates at least.

Crosby let out a beautiful head first dive and deflected the puck into the net with 3.2 seconds left in the period.

Crosby went all out to ensure that puck found its way into the back of the net and further proves why he endears himself to his teammates to this day.

Click link to view goal:

Now that we’ve witnessed Crosby’s 500th goal, it’s time to really appreciate that milestone. There was a time where we weren’t sure if we’d ever see him play again. While 500 goals isn’t something Crosby deems that important, it’s a moniker that only 45 other players can say they’ve done.

Only short time Penguin Patrick Marleau and Crosby’s biggest career comparison in Alex Ovechkin are the other active players with 500 goals.

Among those 500 Crosby goals are certainly some wonderful tallies that I left out for the sake of length of the article. Please don’t be afraid to share some of your favorites with me. The entire point of this piece is to celebrate Crosby and his achievement. I’d love to hear from you guys.