Crosby vs Lemieux: Could Sydney Catch Mario?

Puck betting fans in Pittsburgh have been very fortunate to marvel at and cheer for two of the greatest players in the history of the National Hockey League. From 1984, through the 2016-17 NHL season, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby have recorded 2984 points during 1871 games played. While it appears to be an uphill journey - here will look at whether Sid The Kid can surpass Super Mario’s stats.

Lemieux and Crosby: Who Are These Guys?

Dual Steel City saviours, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby were highly touted first round NHL Draft picks. Lemieux stepped in at a time when the Penguins were waddling through hockey obscurity and facing relocation due to a rapidly dwindling fan base. Super Mario energized Pittsburgh as he scored on his first NHL shot and posted 100 points during his 1984-85 Calder Memorial Trophy Rookie of the Year season. Lemieux carried the Penguins on his back until Jaromir Jagr arrived (1990) and that dynamic dual went on to claim back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.

Late in Lemieux’s career, Pittsburgh was struggling to make the playoffs and selected Sidney Crosby first overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Sid The Kid made his debut during the 2005-06 season and registered his first point on the Penguins first goal of the season versus the New Jersey Devils. Crosby registered 102 points but was edged out of the ROY award by Alex Ovechkin who posted 106 points. That is one of very few “victories” Alex The Great has registered over Crosby. During his twelve seasons, Crosby has led the Pens to four Stanley Cup Finals and three NHL Championships.

NHL and International Hockey Statistics

Close to a "two-points per game scorer" Lemieux amassed 1723 points during 915 regular season contests. Super Mario also shined bright on hockey's biggest stages as he had 172 points (76 G 96 A) during 107 playoff games. A 10X NHL All-Star - Mario represented the Eastern Conference very well as he potted 13 goals and added 10 assists during those matches. When called on by his Country, Lemieux always delivered as he lit the lamp 18 times and posted 42 points while winning Gold Medals in the 1987 Canada Cup, 2002 Winter Olympics and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

Lagging behind Lemieux, due to a few reasons, Sidney Crosby has 1723 points over 915 regular season games thus far in his career. Sid has also been productive in the postseason as he has lit the lamp 57 times while adding 107 assists (164 PTS) during 148 playoff contests. Assuming the role as "Captain Canada" from former Edmonton Oilers star Ryan Smyth, Sidney has recorded 47 points (20 G 27 A) during 37 International games as pro. Crosby has captured Gold Medals at the Olympics (2010 & 2014) the World Championships (2015) and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

When looking at Sidney Crosby's statistics, consideration needs to be given to the style of play in his era. When Mario was filling nets, particularly from 1987 to 1990, an average of 3.6 GPG were being scored. During Crosby's best three-season run (2006 to 2009) scoring dropped to 2.6 GPG. One has to wonder how many points these two would have racked up if they didn't miss so much time due to injury. A battle with cancer, a chronic back injury, plus a brief retirement, interrupted Mario's career while concussions have plagued Sidney since he suffered one of many in 2011. 

NHL Mount Rushmore – Who Do Like?

Do you want the grind the gears of normally reserved Canadian sports fans? Just ask a group of them who should be on the NHL “Mount Rushmore”. Many will automatically say Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr are permanently chiselled in. However, like Theodore Roosevelt on the USA Presidential Rushmore, votes for the fourth bust vary widely. Other NHL stars mentioned include Lemieux, Crosby, Montreal stars Jean Béliveau and Patrick Roy, plus Jaromir Jagr. Three time Stanley Cup and 2002 Olympic Gold Medal winner Steve Yzerman also deserves consideration.

Given the long, illustrious history of the NHL - determining the greatest four players of all-time is a tough task. Some will say if you separate the better of the three Penguins players, Lemieux, Jagr and Crosby, you have your fourth NHL Mount Rushmore bust. It is however a discussion that will rage on for decades to come. Lemieux posted 1723 points while Jagr (1888) and Crosby (1027) are still adding to their totals. Our vote, based on his overall body of work, is Super Mario. Tell us your "NHL Mount Rushmore Four "by leaving a comment down below or on our Facebook page.

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