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Crosby Vs. Ovechkin (Again); Go Ahead, Join The Debate

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Pittsburgh Penguins SIdney Crosby

Well, it made an appearance again this week — a debate over whether Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby or Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin is the better of two overwhelmingly great players. Here’s the right answer: Thank goodness.

Please, as you recover from your turkey coma, join the debate in the Comments section at the end of this story. Please. It’s a great treat attached to a generation of hockey talent.

Now, neither Crosby (Canadian) nor Ovechkin (Russian) are American, but on this U.S. Thanksgiving let’s appreciate the debate, which has been ongoing since both were rookies in 2005-06 and Ovechkin beat out Crosby for the Calder Trophy, and give thanks that hockey fans have been able to watch and appreciate — and debate about, sometimes heatedly — their remarkable overlapping careers.

Me? I’m here for the discourse. My side of the debate is a little different. Crosby, 34, and Ovechkin, 36, both first overall picks in the NHL draft, are different types of superstars. Ovechkin is the hulking goal-scorer extraordinaire who could have a chance to catch Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal total and is off to a bonkers start this season. Crosby is easily the top all-round, 200-foot player of the past 20 years and, really, of all time despite being slowed so far this season by wrist surgery and COVID-19.

So, it’s apples and oranges. With whipped cream and a cherry on top. And the debate is, as always, delightful.

The latest wave of the debate seemed to grow from this:

Not everyone has the stomach for the latest round of the Crosby-Ovechkin debate.

Oh, there are so many categories and statistics to bring to the debate. And some carry that out to the Nth degree.

Others take a more big-picture approach. Or bring some humor to the table.

The debate isn’t which of the two are the best of all time. They don’t seem to have reached that rarefied air at this point.

We are privileged to get to watch two of the top several players of all time, without question.

The Penguins and Capitals next meet Dec. 10 in Washington. We should cherish the head-to-head games between Crosby and Ovechkin, regardless of where you stand on the debate over which is the greater player.

Both players could be around several more years despite their ages. That’s worth being thankful for in any country, any language.

Do you remember this gem that dates to the 2007 All-Star Game in Dallas? (We said they were great at hockey, not acting.)

And now, go ahead, chime in with your thoughts on this renewed Crosby vs. Ovechkin debate in the Comments section.

 

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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Jason
Jason(@jynks)
2 months ago

Not sure why this is still a discussion.

Ovi is the best goal scorer of all time and I hope he breaks the record. But you still pick Sid 10 out of 10 times if you’re trying to build a franchise. Sids the more valuable player overall.

We’re lucky to have seen both in their primes. Happy Thanksgiving!

Last edited 2 months ago by Jason
Joe G Runstedler
Joe G Runstedler
2 months ago

If I was picking, it’s 87 ten times out of ten

Peter Hoffman
Peter Hoffman
2 months ago

No debate at all. Talk to me when Ovi has 2 more cups.

Uros
Uros
2 months ago

The article pretty much explained everything. They’re different, but I pick apples or should I say Sid, because, as Colbert says, you can’t put peanut butter on an orange.

Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly(@donny)
2 months ago

I know it is heresy around here, but Gretzky is #1 and Orr is #2.

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago

This is a debate of a very good one-trick pony vs an all around great player / leader. Crosby everyday.

Sal Carmona
Sal Carmona
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

A one trick pony? Crosby is a one trick pony! Assists. Ovi has 600 assists, 2000 more shots, and hits, and 2000 less dives! Crosby’s a joke!!!!

Nick M
Nick M
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

*Ovechkin’s 18 assists in 2021 have entered the chat*

Sal Carmona
Sal Carmona
2 months ago

Crosby is the better player, if you count dives, crying, and acting like a child. The only thing he does better than Ovechkin is pass he has more assists. Compare hits, and shots. Ovi has about 2000 more shots, and hits, and 300 more goals. It is a joke to even compare a fairy like crosby to Ovechkin. If crosby were American people would be asking who’s better kane, or crosby, it’s only because he’s Canadian. Also, you get two assists for every goal. Let’s also compare games missed. Anybody who thinks crosby is better should be banned from watching… Read more »

Crazyhorse87
Crazyhorse87
2 months ago

Crosby’s magical goals and playmaking abilities, boardwork, 200 ft. game, cups, medals at every level and Ovi crying during a loss to Crosby is priceless.

Nick M
Nick M
2 months ago

Remember that Ovi has never had a Malkin. Sid has had a better team around him more often than Ovi has. But it’s also interesting to note that, at age 36, Ovi seems to have adjusted his playing style so as to stay at the elite level, and become a much more well-rounded player. He’s having the best season of his career, with 15 goals and 18 assists in 20 games. Sid has missed a lot of time with injuries. Toughness is an important factor here. As they say, the most important ability is availability. Ovi will probably play out… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Nick M
Dan Kingerski
Admin
Dan Kingerski(@dkingerski)
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick M

Nick Backstrom may like a word. Or Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Nick M
Nick M
2 months ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

While I love Backstrom and Kuzy, it’s safe to say that Backstrom is no Malkin. They came in the same year, and the stats aren’t even close.

Kuzy came in about Ovi’s 9th year, and has been up and down. He’s off to a great start this year. Fingers crossed.

Last edited 2 months ago by Nick M

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