Monday, January 22, 2007

Ovechkin vs Crosby

By this time, we've heard and engaged in the debate over and over again. If you could build your franchise around one of these two young superstars, which would you choose? In the newest issue of The Hockey News magazine, columnists Ken Campbell and Mike Brophy provide what I believe to be the best argument so far. More specifically Ken Campbell provides the best case as to why your choice should be Ovechkin.




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Campbell: "I looked at the stats this morning. Alex Ovechkin 77 career goals, Sidney Crosby 58 career goals. Goals are what make things happen in the NHL. You can get a goal without an assist, but you can't get an assist without a goal. Ovechkin is by far the better goal-scorer, he's more dynamic, more explosive, he speaks his mind. Sidney Crosby never does. He just completely shuts it down and gives you cliche after cliche. If we're looking at growing this game, Ovechkin is the dominant personality. He's the dominant player and he does it with way less of a supporting cast that Crosby does. He's out-and-out the better player.

Brophy: "You tried to sell me on Wayne Gretzky over Bobby Orr on if he never scored a goal he would have led the NHL in scoring by assists and now you're undermining the value of an assist."

Campbell: "Gretzky's still the all-time leading goal-scorer, too, though."

Brophy: "You're undervaluing an assist. Sidney Crosby is younger. Sidney Crosby has more pressure on him. The expectations for him to be great have been there for a long time. If we're going to talk about selling the game, we're getting into personalities. I'm talking about Sidney Crosby the hockey player. Crosby is on a mission to be the best player in the world. I think Alexander Ovechkin is on a mission to be a great player. Sidney Crosby has set himself up for the harder chore of the two. I get a sense watching the two that while they both strive for greatness, Sidney Crosby will be the first to lead his team to a championship and will have more to do with his team winning the championship than Ovechkin will."

Campbell: "I just see a guy in Ovechkin who's intensely committed. I think he wants to be every bit as good as Sidney Crosby. He wants to be the best player in the world just like Sidney does. What may set them apart is Sidney Crosby, the way he plays the game, is goinBg to break down a lot sooner than Alexander Ovechkin will. Crosby won't last as long because he plays the game too recklessly and leaves himself much more vulnerable to injury than Ovechkin does."

Brophy: "I love Sidney's intensity. In the end it may be his undoing - he's the epitome of a guy who will go through a brick wall to succeed. In a 1-on-1 showdown, and this has been proven in their showdowns, Sidney will come out on top."

Campbell: "Except, of course, at last year's NHL Awards. I don't think he came out on top there. I could be wrong..."

The fact is you can't go wrong with either one. And while they are both top of the line superstars, they are very different when it comes to their playing styles. Ovechkin emits more passion for the game in the emotions he shows both on and off the ice. Crosby has that same love of the game but he is just a more passive person personality wise. Campbell's best argument is when he brings up the issue of goal scoring. Ovechkin is by far and away the better and more explosive goal scorer of the two. He is also the faster skater of the two, and can use that speed to absolutely blow by defenders. Crosby's 4-0-1 record in head to head match-ups so far is meaningless, as both teams are just in the beginning stages of rebuilding their rosters. It remains to be seen whether Brophy's prediction of Crosby winning a championship first comes to fruition. Hopefully Ovechkin will prove him wrong and finally bring the Stanley Cup to Washington.

The Hockey News Editor Jason Kay had this idea on a way to spice up the All-Star game:
"A team of 30-and-older players against a team of 29-and-under. Imagine Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin trying to work their magic against Nicklas Lidstrom and Scott Niedermayer, Martin Brodeur vs Cam Ward, Chris Chelios trying to stop Jordan Staal. There would certainly be a lot more pride on the line under this scenario than there is when East meets West."

I love it. It would provide a way to inspire a more exciting game. The young guys trying to take down the veterans. And the old guys trying to show the young guys whose boss. Just another way to liven up the game a little.

1 comment:

Fauxrumors said...

1) Its an argument that has no winner no matter the position you take. Both bring something amazing to the table
2) AO probably the most dynamic goal scorer to come to the nHL in a generation
3) Crosby doing things at an age that hasn't been seen since 99 played at his age
4) Will be entertaining to see how they both develop/compete/their teams improve over the next 10-20 years!