It hasn't seemed to matter who his linemates are, or what kind of teammates he's been on the ice with. All Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby has done is produce and help his team win games. And with a daily injury report that has at times read like an all-star game roster, and a Penguins roster that at times has featured as many American Hockey League players as NHL, Crosby has shown this season why he's the best -- and most valuable player -- in the League. The easiest place to start is with the most general stats. At the Olympic break, Crosby led the League with 50 assists and 78 points. That puts him on pace for 110 points, which would be the second-most he's had in his nine seasons. With 28 goals, he's going to hit 30 for the sixth time; he's on pace for 39, so it wouldn't be a stretch to see him get to 40 for the second time. Crosby has had a hand in 42.8 percent of his team's 182 non-shootout goals, and he's been just as good at home (12 goals, 40 points in 28 games) as on the road (16 goals, 38 points in 30 games). He's reached those numbers while averaging 22:01 of ice time per game, second among all NHL forwards. And when he's been on the ice it has been against the hardest competition the opposition has thrown at Penguins forwards, according to advanced metrics at BehindtheNet.ca. Though he's started 50.3 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, he's finished 52.8 percent of his shifts there, a sign he can create offense from anywhere on the ice. Crosby also has been used as a penalty killer (0:34 per game) and won 52.3 percent of his faceoffs, a respectable success rate for a player who's taken 1,392 faceoffs, the most in the League. Though Crosby is the clear pick right now to win his second Hart Trophy, there are a number of outstanding performers keeping themselves in contention for the honor.
Penguins' Crosby remains Hart Trophy favorite
NHL.com | Feb 26