By Victor Cabrera
Ovechkin and Crosby have been rivals since the 2005-2006 NHL season which was the year of both of their rookie seasons. Ovechkin would have the better first season with 106 points to Crosby’s 102. However, the rivalry would heat up when in the 2006-2007 season Crosby won the Art Ross trophy for being the league leader in points. Ovechkin would answer right back the next season by winning the Art Ross for himself. Crosby however, won a second Art Ross Trophy in 2013-2014. Crosby also has two Stanley Cups as captain of the Penguins, one in 2009 and the other in 2016 while Ovechkin has yet to reach the Stanley Cup Final. Ovechkin was appointed Captain in 2009-2010 and Crosby in 2006 after the departure of Mario Lemieux. Ovechkin leads Crosby in the Hart Memorial Trophy wins which is awarded to the Most Valuable Player of the season. Ovechkin has three Hart Memorial Trophies and is the 8th to do so in NHL while Crosby is close behind with two.
While the rivalry has grown the head to head match-ups have not been the best for Alex Ovechkin when it comes to playing against Sidney Crosby. Two of the biggest match-ups between Ovechkin and Crosby were in this year’s playoffs and in the World Cup of Hockey. The Capitals were the best team in NHL in the 2015-2016 regular season. However at the end of six games the Penguins were victorious. The custom hand shaking had full focus on the two captains, Ovechkin and Crosby, as they had a few words. It was a site that would repeat itself later that year in the World Cup of Hockey.
The pre-tournament game between Russia and Canada would end with a 3-2 overtime loss to Canada. Ovechkin scored a goal and Crosby recorded an assist. Russia would find Canada in the semifinals that ended the same another defeat this time by a score of 5-3. Crosby would score the first goal of the game and then dish out two assists while Ovechkin was blank and off the scoresheet with 0 points. Again the fans would see the customary handshake line in which Ovechkin was on the losing side against Crosby. As Ovechkin would say post game “We were close but, not close enough” following the defeat to Team Canada.
It seems that Ovi and Crosby always have their paths cross whether the divisional matchups, the battle for MVP, or against each other in the Playoffs there will be a next time where one of the two is victorious.
With the Stanley Cup being a goal for Ovechkin, he may need to get through Crosby and the Pens to finally reach the final and then he can feel the glory. Only time will tell where this rivalry will go but for the fans, it’s always something spectacular.
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