Sidney Crosby hitting rare scoring drought in pursuit of goal 400

Sidney Crosby hitting rare scoring drought in pursuit of goal 400

Sidney Crosby has been stuck on 399 career goals for the last ten games now. A look back at other goalless droughts he has had and how he has responded to them.

anthony-murphy
Anthony Murphy

Sidney Crosby is sitting one goal away from a big career milestone. Just one goal away from number 400, Crosby has found himself struggling to get that final marker to reach the achievement.

After being held scoreless against the Dallas Stars last night, Crosby has failed to score a goal in each of his last 10 games, an unfortunate streak while on the verge of such an accomplishment.

This isn’t the first time that Crosby has reached double digits during a goal-scoring drought, in fact, this is the second time he has done it this season.

Over Crosby’s illustrious career, he has registered eight 30-goal seasons, two 40, and one 50. Even so, he has had scoreless streaks of at least six games 20 times now over his now 13 years in the league.

A brief history

Crosby had three such streaks his rookie season, which isn’t too surprising considering he was just 18-years old. He was still able to score 39 goals and finish with over 100 points that season.

The following year in which he won the scoring title and MVP, Crosby endured another three streaks of at least six games. He also had a streak where he only scored one goal in 15 games played. He still finished with 36 goals on the season.

The next three seasons (2007-2010), Crosby only had three total instances of going at least six games without a goal and didn’t have a single occurrence in 2010/11 when he scored 32 goals in 41 games before a concussion forced him to miss the rest of the season.

Coming back from the injury, Crosby went through the longest drought of his career, going without a goal in 12 games. He finished with just eight goals in 22 games that year.

During the 2015/16 season, Crosby scored just three goals over a 20-game span but finished strong after Mike Sullivan took over for Mike Johnston as the team’s head coach.

Bouncing back

More often than not, when Crosby goes through one of these streaks, he breaks through and the goals pile up. That isn’t always the case though. Goal scorers can be a streaky bunch, but Crosby has always been more of a playmaker than a pure sniper.

He has scored when needed (he does have two Rocket Richard Trophies for being the league’s top goal scorer), but he has always preferred to set up his teammates than shoot himself.

During the 2011/12 season when he came back from the concussion, he scored in his first game back against the New York Islanders but failed to register a goal in the next 12 contests. He bounced back though with five goals in the final nine games to close out the regular season.

After scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers on October 20th, 2017, the Penguins’ captain went the next 11 without one. He finally scored against the Buffalo Sabres but went three more without scoring before getting hot and scoring six goals in the next five games.

He snapped his second-longest drought (eight games) this season with three goals over the next four games, which led into his current scoreless streak of ten games.

The only season he didn’t get hot in response to a drought was the  2014/15 season. He posted two eight-game scoreless droughts, including one where he scored one in an 11-game span, and another with a lone goal across 12 contests. He would score only 28 goals that season, a career low for him when playing 70 or more games.

Looking ahead

The Penguins face the St. Louis Blues on national television on Sunday. Crosby has scored five goals in 15 career games against the Blues, including one in the season opener. After that game, Pittsburgh returns home for a three-game homestand where he will have a very good opportunity to hit number 400 if he doesn’t on the road.

Crosby's numbers vs next five opponents
Opponent Games Goals Shots
St. Louis 15 5 51
Ottawa 36 15 139
Los Angeles 12 4 30
Toronto 38 25 124
Columbus 23 7 75

Crosby has scored 25 goals in just 38 games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 25 goals are the most against a single opponent that doesn’t play in the same division as Crosby. He also has a shooting percentage of over 20% against the Leafs, a feat he only has against four total opponents, no matter the division.

Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Boston and the Islanders are the five after that, but at that point, Crosby would be at 15 games without a goal. It is hard to believe him going that long without one, especially sitting on this kind of milestone.

Concussion problems have threatened Crosby's career, forcing him to miss significant time. If not for that, there is no doubting that he would have blown by 400 goals by now.

Either way, it's going to be a special moment for Crosby, and the Penguins, when he does finally get that goal. Crosby will go down as one of the best players to play the game, and this will be just another accolade to add to his hall of fame career.

Which game do you think Crosby will score his 400th goal? Let us know in the comment section below.

VAVEL Logo