I am sitting here eating hash browns and scrambled eggs, and ESPN is debating Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Usually for any argument, statistics are first mentioned or close second, but for this match up, it is way more complicated than that.
I mean look at the leadership factor.
Sidney Crosby, the youngest captain in NHL history, has led the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup in 15 years. He is the youngest Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner in all of pro sports, and is easily one of the game's best stars at age twenty.
Now on the contrary, Evgeni Malkin aka Geno, has put up some unthinkable numbers. When Crosby got injured mid-way through the season, Malkin took the league by storm.
In his rookie season last year, Geno scored thirty-three goals and put up fifty-two assists.
In only his second season, Malkin put up 47 goals, and 59 assists. Yes, I understand that Sid the Kid put up 136 points in his second season, but look at who Malkin had to battle with. Evgeni had always played second fiddle behind Crosby. After Sid's fall on 1/18, Malkin put up 22 goals and 30 assists which was half of his season total.
Together, Geno and Sid the Kid are arguably the best tandem in all of hockey.
Datsyuk and Zetterberg, yes there are phenomenal, but the statistics aren't there.
You could compare all the tandems in hockey and I guarantee that none of them match to the young stars from the Burgh.
The audience reading this article is thinking that this is just another stupid argument about the league's top stars. I somewhat agree with you, but people like Barry Melrose, Don Cherry, etc, don't discuss the specifics—leadership, poise, aggression, drive, intensity, and the list goes even further.
In my personal opinion, this same comparison brings us up to the Gretzky Lemieux dispute. Lemieux had the athleticism, and Gretzky had the supporting cast and scoring. Lemieux didn't have the total Hall of Fame line.
I mean come on.
Gretzky at center, Kurri on the right, Anderson to his left, Coffey and Lowe on defense, and Grant Fuhr in net. Yes, Lemieux had Stevens and Jagr and Recchi and Coffey for a couple years, but that's an argument for another day.
Malkin has the drive and intensity that propels his athleticism. Sidney has the scoring and passing, almost identical to the great one.
All-in-all, this is one of the tightest comparisons I have ever disputed.
I would take Malkin to be the superior choice.
Easily not by much, I mean talk about the deep down specifics, but Geno tops Crosby. Maybe he is the reason we're in the Cup Finals (Don't forget about Irish Ty Conklin).
We recently got our butts kicked against a very talented Red Wings team. Hopefully Sid and Malkin can pull us out of another jam.
All of Pittsburgh hopes so.