The two best hockey players on the face of the earth today were both "Halak'ed."
What is "Halak'ed," you ask? Well, I've taken the time to define this incredible situation no hockey players want to be in.
Halak'ed: A time where a professional hockey athlete, primarily a superstar, is forced off his/her game, and is continuously shut down because of a phenomenal glove, stick, blocker, and pad saves performed by the opposing goaltender (example: Jaroslav Halak).
Both Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin played a big role in defining and creating the word "Halak'ed."
Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals entered the 2010 NHL Playoffs as the league's top team, capturing an incredible 121 points. The Capitals were introduced to the NHL postseason as the best team of the year, and in eyes, were favourites to win it all and take home Lord Stanley.
However, that was not the case.
Despite a sold-out, blaring, and amped crowd that filled the Verizon Center in Game One, the Washington Capitals were handed a tough loss by the worst team to make the playoffs this season (in terms of points).
Granted, the fact that Ovechkin actually didn't get "Halak'ed" in Game One, since he was held without a single shot, the Russian sniper started out his quest for the cup on the wrong foot.
Ovechkin did indeed step up in the next few games, giving his team a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Montreal Canadians. But Jaroslav Halak became virtually un-beatable, as the Habs went on to win the next three games and stunned the world by defeating the best team in the NHL in seven games.
Alexander Ovechkin recorded a solid five goals, five assists, 10 points, and had a rating of plus-5. The league's best goal scorer was heavily criticized after the series loss, and many were ready to jump on the Pittsburgh Penguins' bandwagon (aka Sidney Crosby).
Sentences like "Ovechkin will never win anything in his life" started flying around the world of hockey. Or, "Sid the Kid continues to succeed while Ovie is golfing." I really loved the "Sidney Crosby will have two cups, while Ovechkin will still have nothing."
Sidney Crosby's first round against the Ottawa Senators was obviously an outstanding performance. He racked up five goals, nine assists, and 14 points in six games.
But, the second round came along, and Sid the Kid got "Halak'ed."
Crosby recorded just one goal and five points in a series that went the distance. He was held point-less in four of the seven games between the Canadians and the Penguins.
Here is an interesting fact: In Washington's Game Seven against the Montreal Canadians, Ovechkin tallied an assist and one point, with a rating of zero.
Sidney Crosby's Game Six, which was the game where Pittsburgh eliminated Ottawa, Crosby recorded zero goals, zero assists, zero points, and was a minus-2 on the night. Crosby's Game Seven against Montreal, he recorded zero goals, zero assists, zero points, and was a minus-2 on the night.
Sidney Crosby averaged 1.46 points per game in the postseason while Ovechkin managed a 1.42 points per game average.
So, I guess Crosby did have the better overall postseason, but he shouldn't be considered any better this season then Ovechkin, if he can't beat Montreal either.
Against Montreal, Crosby averaged 0.71 points per game, while Ovechkin averaged 1.42 points per game. So, Ovechkin had a better series versus Montreal then Crosby did.
Additionally, Ovechkin stepped up, and went out graciously by saying that it was his fault and that he didn't play well. Crosby went out by making excuses, whining, and losing his focus by taking dumb penalties on the ice.
Think about that before you say that Ovechkin is classless.
Who had the worse postseason? OK, Crosby did slightly better then Ovechkin by taking his team to the second round, but he was virtually invisible in the second round.
He should definitely not be considered the best player in the world today.
I'm not saying Ovechkin is—I'm saying Crosby isn't.
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