Penguins' Sidney Crosby, Capitals' Alex Ovechkin Headline NHL's All-Decade Team

Blake SchusterContributor IIIJanuary 25, 2020

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), from Russia, talks with Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) after Game 7 in an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal, Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Washington. The Penguins won 2-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and his Washington Capitals counterpart Alex Ovechkin have battled for NHL supremacy since they broke into the league so it comes as no surprise the two rivals lead the players named to the league's All-Decade Team. 

Joining them on the first-team roster are a pair of Chicago Blackhawks in Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith. The duo helped the Hawks win three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013 and 2015 with Kane pacing the league in points over the last 10 years (802).

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty joins Keith on the blue line while goalie Marc-Andre Fleury gets the nod in net for the first team after splitting the decade in Pittsburgh and Las Vegas. 

    

Here's how the voting process worked, per NHL.com: "The six players, chosen by a panel of NHL general managers, NHL hockey operations staff, NHL.com writers and on-air talent from NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports."

Altogether, the six players on the first-team All-Decade have combined for 3,264 points and 13 Stanley Cups. 

The All-Decade Second Team isn't that much of a drop-off with Evgeni Malkin, Patrice Bergeron, Steven Stamkos, Erik Karlsson, Zdeno Chara and Henrik Lundqvist making up the roster. 

NHL analyst Scott Hartnell summed up Crosby's play with the highest of praises.

"He's one or two steps ahead of what you're thinking," Hartnell said. "He does what he's going to do before you think you know what he's going to do. He knows where everyone is, especially on his own team. He is always a step ahead of you."

Similarly, NHL analyst Ryan Callahan noted that Kane's skillset on offense is unlike any other player in the league.

"There are things he can see on the ice that I think nobody else can see," Callahan said. "The lanes, opportunities, willingness to make plays and passes that he makes look so easy. He doesn't get enough credit for those because it looks easy for him, whereas 99 percent of the League wouldn't be able to make that play."

Fleury, meanwhile, went from a rising star and elite backstop in Pittsburgh at the start of the decade to a building block of an expansion Las Vegas team, which rode him to a Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season. 

The netminder is first in wins last decade (322) while maintaining a 91.6 save percentage.

"When he went to Vegas, I'll admit it, I thought he was on the down side of it and I didn't expect him to do anything near what he's doing there," Callahan said. "The first year, he leads them to the Cup Final, and I was shocked. That competitiveness sets him apart."

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