A constant debate, these two NHL icons have been attributed as the main reasons why the NHL reviatlized TV ratings and publicity.
Who wouldn't you want to watch these two play each other? They are offensive powerhouses and electrify the ice every time they have a shift.
Eventually, two greats are bound to collide and a feud is waiting to be formed. That's what exactly has happened. Over the years the two have played together in shoot-outs and have even gotten in a tussle once or twice.
The two met for the Winter Classic this season in a rainy battle that was played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The two were pretty quiet during the game, both walking away that night with a plus/minus of -1.
Both players sport unique, individual attributes that make them the players that they are.
Yet the question still isn't answered: Who is the best?
Both players have great, talented teammates surrounding them. With Ovechkin you get Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin, Mike Green and that's about it. You could say that Mike Knuble is still good, but he's 38 years-old and on his way out.
Crosby has Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury. He also had Sergei Gonchar at one point. That's an amazing backing crew and it's a lot easier to rake up points with other playmakers on the team.
I feel like Ovechkin made his teammates good, being such a force on offense his teammates followed his lead and became better. I had never heard of either Backstrom or Semin before, the only times I heard of them was in association with Ovechkin.
Bottom line: Crosby is great and played with a great group players, Ovechkin is great and made everyone else around him great.
It is a well known "fact" that Sidney Crosby is a whiner.
In February 2009, a NHL Players' survey was distributed and according to 52 percent of the players, Sidney Crosby was the "player who complains the most on the ice."
I can't tell you how many T-shirts, pictures, YouTube videos, etc. are online with statements that hint towards Crosby being a "girl" or "cry baby" and other explicit content.
A famous occurrence of Crosby complaining to a referee is when Ovechkin scored a hat-trick goal in the 2008-2009 playoffs.
When asked what he said to the referee, he replied: "People kept throwing hats, I was just asking if [the referee] he could make an announcement to ask them to stop.. for us we just wanted to make sure we kept kinda moving and got the game going we wanted to try and get back into it."
But if Crosby were to get a hat-trick, do you think any other player would have acted the same way that he did?
Ovechkin, on the other hand, gets his fair share of ridicule, but still has a positive reputation.
He's the NHL "class clown." In the NHL 2009 All-Star Game's Superskills Breakaway Challenge, Ovie went to the sideline and gathered up a pair of sunglasses and a hat with a Canadian flag from fellow Russian Evgeni Malkin to close out his portion of the challenge.
However, Ovechkin also knows when to be serious too.
Constant chattering and rooting for his teammates while on the bench can be heard in various YouTube clips and on wired moments for specific games.
Teams are going to want leadership from a serious player who just plays the game, not from a player who whines to the referee every time a call doesn't go her— I'm sorry, HIS way.
Ovechkin can hit you hard—just ask Brian Campbell of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Ovechkin received a two-game suspension and left the game with a game misconduct for knocking Campbell into the boards in an early March game. Campbell suffered a broken clavicle and broken ribs from the blow.
With that hit, Ovie was penalized with his third game misconduct of the season.
Where are the crushing blows from Crosby? The only physical play I've seen out of his was a "fight" early this season. He's also been known to dive a lot, taking the easy way out and trying to gain the man advantage.
The only time Crosby will try to be physical is if his temper gets the best of him.
In 2006 Crosby and Ilya Kovalchuk started arguing a little bit and "Kovy" pushed Crosby far enough. Sid then blatantly slashed Kovalchuk on the leg and was given a two-minute minor.
Sure both players are well known in Canada and the United States, but that's because that is where they play their sport and make their living.
Crosby is from Canada, so he is very popular there.
Ovechkin is from Russia so he is more or less considered a god in his home country.
As there are not many other international teams from Asia, Ovi could easily be considered the biggest "face" for hockey in the Eastern Hemisphere.
When international people think of America, they think of the major cities of America and it's capital. Ovechkin plays in Washington D.C. so it makes sense for foreigners to recognize him. Washington D.C. is a marketable city whereas Pittsburgh isn't.
In America it's known, but ask people in Europe, Asia and Africa about Pittsburgh—I bet you almost half of them will have never heard of it.
Ovechkin also has a documentary coming out about his life as an NHL player. It's called "Alexander Ovechkin: The Great."
Just shows how the general public views Ovechkin.
Since the two entered the NHL in the 2005-2006 season, Ovechkin has 23 more points than Crosby (not including the current season). He also has 86 more goals.
Internationally he also has put up better statistics than Crosby and has more experience and game-time in International play.
Ovie has received the Hart Memorial Trophy twice, the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy twice, the Lester B. Pearson Award three times (the third time being the Ted Lindsay Award,) the Kharlamov Trophy five times, the Calder Memorial Trophy once and the Art Ross Trophy once.
Crosby has been awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy," Lester B. Pearson Award and Art Ross Trophy—all once.
As you can see, Ovechkin outweighs Crosby, even if you take away the Kharlamov Trophy (only Russian NHL players can be awarded that trophy.)
Ovechkin never quits either. You see how he plays the puck until he can't play it anymore; he loves to score. That's what makes him so great.
There will still be debate though. You can't just determine who's the best. Crosby has the Stanley Cup in his trophy room, but Ovechkin has the numbers and awards that proves that he's a greater player. Each individual has his outstanding attributes and some outweigh the others'.
In this case however, Ovechkin's outweighs Crosby's—and that's why he's the best.