Amber Alexander asks if Steven Stamkos should be considered amongst the top players in the National Hockey League in only his third season in the league.
By Amber Alexander
It’s become clear that some fans who aren’t Penguin fans have heard enough of Crosby.
He’s been called a diver and a whiner.
He’s talked about way too much.
He’s advertised too much.
What I do not understand is how the media and fans can begin to say that Steven Stamkos should be on the level of Sidney Crosby. Stamkos is in his third season with the Lightning. Crosby is in his sixth season with the Penguins.
Has Stamkos done enough to earn the right to all the hype that is surrounding him and his future?
Definitely…he has played amazing hockey.
But to go as far as to say that he should be treated like a Crosby or Ovechkin is taking it a little too far. Don’t get me wrong, Stamkos’ future is looking amazing but give him a couple more years before you start comparing him to star players.
Let’s take a look at why, in only his third season, Stamkos isn’t on the level of Crosby.
First, when you look at each player’s first season you see a completely lopsided statistic pattern.
Stamkos’ first season:
79 GP– 23 G– 23 A– for a total of 46 points.
Crosby’s first season:
81 GP– 39 G– 63 A– for a total of 102 points.
Following his first season in the NHL, Stamkos bulked up after some great work with Gary Roberts and we all saw the results during his sophomore season — 51 goals, 44 assists and 95 points.
He played great.
But Crosby matched him, actually getting better results while playing one less game — managing 51 goals, 58 assists and 109 points.
And in looking at the empty net goals by each you’ll see that Stamkos had three compared to Crosby’s one.
But stats aside, Stamkos hasn’t earned the comparisons to Crosby in other ways.
Yes he made a change in his game with Roberts help, displaying amazing skill.
But at the age of 20, Stamkos still has a lot of learning to do.
Crosby has already made history is a lot of ways:
He’s the youngest player to record 100 points.
He’s the youngest player to record 200 career points.
He’s the youngest player to record 2 consecutive 100 point seasons.
He’s the youngest player to lead NHL playoffs in scoring at the age of 20.
And finally, he’s the youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup.
As a fan of the Penguins there is frustration with the bashing of Crosby, we’re all used to it. But as fans we know he deserves everything he gets.
His work ethic is out of this world.
Every summer he works on something that needs to change for the next season to make himself even better.
First was his shot, then it was his face-offs and now he wants to be as unpredictable as possible. As of right now Crosby has 9 goals, and 21 points in his last 10 games.
Crosby is beginning to get help from his wingers but with Geno just now finding his game, Crosby has had to lead this team. He’s leadership during the the Flower’s early season struggles showed that he is a true captain.
Do I think Stamkos should be on the level of Crosby someday?
I know for a fact he will if he continues on with the way he is playing right now.
But we can all sit back and watch our captain shine and remember that he is only 23 years old… he’s got a lot more in him.
For right now all the negative backlash Crosby gets makes his game better.
Give Stamkos a few more years before comparing him to some of the best players in the world.