I’m sick and tired of hearing about this rivalry for one reason: the horrible comparisons.
Regardless of what anyone thinks, Alex Ovechkin will be the first name out of anyone’s mouth for best player in the world. This is because people love to see goals and, let’s be honest, no one is better at scoring than Ovie.
However, that may not necessarily be the actualy definition of what makes the greatest player in the world. Case in point, Ovechkin isn’t even leading his league in scoring.
I’m not here to play the numbers game and show who creates and who doesn’t. That’s been done before. I’m more concerned about what we value in hockey as opposed to what is really important.
In a recent article by Alan Ryder of the Globe and Mail the individual accolades are apparently what defines greatness.
Alexander Ovechkin won Round One, capturing the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in 2006. Crosby won the Art Ross and Hart Trophies in 2007 to claim Round Two. But Ovechkin trumped that last season with an unprecedented sweep of the Ross, Hart and Richard trophies.
The Penguins have been to the playoffs twice with Crosby and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. Ovechkin has been in the post-season once and the Capitals were bounced in the first round.
And comparing the two players last year really is a waste because Crosby missed a significant portion of the season with a high-ankle sprain.
I just believe that to be great in this league is to turn your team in to a force. Sidney Crosby has done that in a very short period of time. He might have more of a supporting cast to help with, playing with Evgeni Malkin. But the proof is on paper.
The rest of Ryder’s article is very good and maps out the two and their projected career stats against the all-time greats of the NHL. I encourage you to give it a read.
But let’s be careful with how we analyze things. I fear that all sports coverage is based on hyperbole … who can make the louder statement and, thus, draw more people in?
Both are great players. Both have had a high level of success in their short careers. But only one has taken his team to another level so far.
This might be Ovechkin’s year to prove that he can do the same. The regular season has proven that might be the case. But everything changes in the playoffs. That is the true test.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Be heard.
Chris | PPT