Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby to Meet in NHL Game for First Time

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffFebruary 27, 2014

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23:  (l-R) Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and P.K. Subban #76 of Canada pose with the gold medals won during the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal match against Sweden on Day 16 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby are expected to face each other in an NHL contest for the first time in Saturday's outdoor game at Soldier Field.

Both players recently represented the gold medal-winning Canadian team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where Crosby served as captain, with Toews and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber as alternates.

Crosby is in his ninth NHL season and Toews in his seventh, making it rather incredible that the two have never been on the ice in the same game. Crosby's never-ending injury issues are largely to blame for the oddity, as the Pens superstar hasn't played in a game against the Blackhawks since February 2007, a year before Toews' rookie season. Toews, meanwhile, has played in all four matchups between the two franchises since he entered the league.

Given the recent success of their respective teams, it seems like it's only a matter of time before Toews and Crosby meet in the Stanley Cup Final. Toews already has two championships to his name, while Crosby has a championship of his own but also a string of disappointing early exits.

Toews may not be able to match Crosby when it comes to pure skill or scoring ability, but the 25-year-old Blackhawk enjoys a sterling reputation among fans and players alike due to his strong two-way play and grinding style. Crosby is universally recognized as an elite player, yet his reputation has largely been defined by the injuries and early playoff exits.

Come Saturday, the working man's superstar will play against the face of the NHL for the very first time.