The Sidney Crosby-Alexander Ovechkin debate has always been a big deal. If you look on this Web site even, why is it that articles on the second coming of Jordan Staal have only a handful of comments and the ones on Crosby-Ovechkin, hundreds of them?
And although "Sid" is obviously one of the most popular players in the league, he's also one of the most loathed and most of those comments come from the self-proclaimed "haters."
Actually, why call it the Crosby-Ovechkin debate when it's so much more than that? Crosby vs. Patrick Kane. Crosby vs. Evgeni Malkin. Crosby vs. the world, really.
Crosbaby. Cindy. Cinderella. Whiner. Yeah yeah. We've heard it all.
It seems no matter what Sidney Crosby does, he feels the heat. Being humble and not talking about his adversaries make him a push-over and a bore. On the other hand, he calls out Ovechkin for God knows what and he's back to being the über-villain of the NHL.
Why? What makes him so hateful? I personally don't see it. Honestly, it's this same anti-Christ, this crybaby, this not-even-the-best-player-on-his-own-team that made me start watching hockey.
Who says he isn't flashy? Have you seen some of the plays he makes? Maybe he isn't flashy in his celebrations and does it really matter? Are we watching hockey for the "hot stick" sketches or to see our teams battle?
Why is it that the Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the most exciting and talented teams in the league, are so hated simply because people can't stand the face of their franchise? I don't love Alexander Ovechkin (probably because I'm in the "Crosby" camp) but I don't hate him or the Capitals either.
In all fairness, they are a talented team with a lot of depth and they do have one of the top players in the world (no, I wasn't talking about Alexander Semin).
Sure, you can say the great Ovie plays grittier. I won't argue. Ovie scores much more goals (and they're almost always highlight-reel worthy). I won't argue. He's more fun to watch. I don't necessarily agree but I still won't argue.
Then, you can say Alexander Ovechkin carries the team on his shoulders every game and he's an all-around better player. And then I'll have to stop you.
Sidney Crosby is not the entire Pittsburgh Penguins team. He doesn't do everything. He's not the (only) reason they win their games. Fortunately, they have Marc-André Fleury, Sergei Gonchar, Jordan Staal and (of course) Evgeni Malkin for that. And many more.
But he is their captain. He is the one who stays back after every practice, after every game to let us know, "Yeah things are going well". Or "No, they aren't. But it's going to be ok."
Right now, Malkin is putting up the points. He will most probably win the Art Ross trophy and it would be wrong for him to leave with out the Hart, also. Yeah ok, he is the most talented player on his team right now. But I still don't think he is the best.
See, when I see Sidney Crosby, I don't see the goals he doesn't score. The plays he doesn't make. The hits he doesn't take. I see him coming on the ice every shift and I wonder, "Wow what is he going to do now?"
Every shift from Sidney Crosby is full of passion and energy and it may not always produce something but are you really going to argue that the second top-scorer in the NHL isn't productive?
You can argue that Sidney Crosby doesn't seem to be having much fun when he's playing hockey but that simply makes no sense. What makes people say that? Why, because he isn't smiling every time he takes the ice? The bottom line is, winning is fun. Losing sucks.
Don't expect anyone—not even "The Golden Boy"—to give you a big smile after a loss.
Why is it that Crosby rejoicing about Nicklas Bäckström scoring into his own goal makes him an awful sportsman but Ovechkin's antics only make him "exciting" and "fun"? It was a fluke goal, for God's sake. Get over it.
Sidney Crosby: you either love him or hate him. He may not be "The Next One": there are way too many talented players in the league for that, Ovechkin and Malkin included. But he is "One." One heck of a good player. And don't deny it.