Over the course of a player’s career, it is almost impossible to not hit at least one major milestone. Whether it’s the total number of goals, assist, points, penalty minutes or games played, they have different meanings and different impacts on a player’s career.
The Pittsburgh Penguins boast one of the most explosive young rosters in the NHL today. The added bonus to having that roster is getting to see some of the personal milestones pile up over the course of a few seasons. The biggest spotlight will be on the Pens’ big three as next season gets underway.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal are all approaching significant milestones at this point in their early careers. It’s sometimes hard to imagine that all three of these players have played in at least four NHL seasons. Crosby has only one more season in than Malkin and Staal.
I’m sure that most players keep these milestones in the back of their minds and try to focus on helping the team rather than padding their career stats. Only in rare cases, like the season finale with the Islanders last year, players throw all logic out the window, go a little out of their comfort zone and try a full on assault to hit a certain number.
Remember the fire in Crosby’s eyes when he got that first goal in last year’s season finale? It seemed that it was only a matter of the game ending and the “Richard” was all his. Even though he had to share his trophy with Steven Stamkos, he couldn’t have put up a better performance as far as I’m concerned. He showed everyone in the building that night that he wanted that hardware.
So, without further adieu, let’s have a look at what Pittsburgh Penguins players’ milestones we should be aware of and keep an eye on for this upcoming season.