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Crosby vs. Ovechkin Debate Is Over…For Now

For years people have been debating who is better, Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin? I have always thought that Crosby was better than Ovechkin, in terms of being the best player in the world. Finally, people cannot say that I am being biased.

Crosby is the leading point scorer (44) in the NHL. He is currently entertaining a 14-game point streak, a streak that has included 15 goals and 14 assists. He is playing some of the best hockey of his career, obviously.

The thing I am super impressed with Crosby is his leadership. He publicly came out and defended Marc-Andre Fleury recently when he was struggling. Fleury has been dynamite since that time.

He has won a Stanley Cup a few years ago, while losing another the year before. He scored the game winning goal in the Olympics to secure the gold medal for Canada. Ovechkin doesn’t have any of these awards.

People question Ovechkin’s ability to lead his team to the promise land. He consistently has had one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but has failed to make a Stanley Cup. His teammates haven’t really helped him out either. Alexander Semin has been a dud in the postseason, Nicklas Backstrom hasn’t been fantastic and Mike Green has been invisible in the postseason. But, in the end, it is Ovechkin’s team. In the series against the Penguins he played great, but Crosby was up to the challenge. Ovechkin had a chance to get the first goal in game seven, but was stoned by Fleury on the breakaway. If he scores that goal maybe the Capitals end up winning the series.

Alexander Ovechkin- 423 games played – 279 goals – 283 assists – 562 points – +74

Sidney Crosby- 398 games played – 204 goals – 346 assists – 550 points – +54

The biggest statistics of all:

Stanley Cups

Crosby – 1

Ovechkin – 0

Gold Medals

Crosby – 1

Ovechkin – 0

Sidney Crosby has all the intangibles a superstar needs to win championships. I know Ovechkin will win one before his career is over, and that could even be this year. But, until he wins one, Crosby is clearly the best player in the world.

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Born in Franklin, PA. Life-long Pittsburgh sports fan + Boston Celtics. Attending Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Working for WCUC - 91.7 and WCUB-TV. Clarion Call writer for two years.

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In response to “Crosby vs. Ovechkin Debate Is Over…For Now”

  1. Michael Watts Dec 4 20107:01 pm


    As I noted in a blog of mine own (Thrashers Recap, located in the Penguins’ section), the difference is not simply rings or medals. It is who Ovechkin is playing with that makes Crosby so much better.

    Semin-Ovechkin-Backstrom is the super line in Washington (all three with over 30 points at this point) and Mike Greene working at the blue line. All three of those guys could be top line players on any team in the league right now.

    Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis is the pens top line. Kunitz and Dupuis are both under 15 points. Letang got added to the top line and is the dominent scoring defender – picking up almost 25 points…

    My point is this – Ovechkin has more shots on a better line. Crosby has less shots on a worse line. Ovechkin should be leading in goals and assists by quite a margin, but instead Crosby is playing the dominant hockey.

    All in all, Crosby is the much more well rounded LEADER, PLAYER, and TEAMMATE than Ovie is.

    1. Justin Welton Dec 4 20109:27 pm


      I did not simply state rings or medals as the only reason he is the best right now. I couldn’t agree more about the statistics of each player’s team. There are clearly more 60 point and above players on Washington.

      Understand this, Dave. I completely agree that this comparison will go on for their entire careers, and how great is that for the NHL. I can tell you that you are wrong if you think I have been waiting for Ovechkin to slump. I live in Western Pennsylvania and hear it all the time, “Crosby is the best, Malkin is the second then Ovechkin.” No, it is clearly Crosby then Ovechkin in my mind, and Malkin is in a downward spiral. He is still top five in the world though.

      So you are saying that Ovechkin is a better leader than Crosby? That is a big part of my argument. Ovechkin, to me, is the best pure goal scorer we have seen in quite some time. He has my respect that is for sure. In fact, I defend him as a player most of the time. But, right now, Crosby is clearly the better player RIGHT NOW. We aren’t looking at “one season” because crosby went to the Stanley Cup twice and won the Gold in different years. We have watched this for a few years now. Crosby > Ovechkin, right now.

  2. Dave Dec 4 20108:44 pm


    These are some pretty flawed arguments. You both sound like Crosby fans who have been waiting for Ovechkin to slump for 6 years, and now that he has, you’re saying, “See! See! I told you Crosby is better!” You’re using one season to make your argument and that simply does not make sense. I can definitely admit that Ovechkin plays on a line with some high scorers (albeit Semin mostly plays on the second line), but you don’t think that Ovechkin is a major reason for their points? You could make a counter argument looking at Crosby’s line and say that he should be making his line better instead of saying look how many points Crosby has compared to his teammates; he must be amazing. The Ovie/Crosby argument is one that will go on for their entire careers and never be solved.

  3. Joe Kumpf Dec 6 201011:06 am


    You are judged on your accomplishments, Crosby has done more and has the gold medal and cup. At this point in time Crosby is the much better player and citizen.

    1. Dan Rakusan Dec 7 201010:29 pm


      By that argument, anyone with a Cup ring and a gold medal is better than Ovechkin… Ridiculous. People need to use their brains when thinking about this debate, which will no doubt rule out half the people who participate in it. They are different players. Ovechkin is a better “pure goal scorer” and is more of a power forward. Crosby is a better playmaker and likely a better leader, but doesn’t (can’t) play physical hockey.

      Quite frankly, you’d be doing well with either guy as the base of your team. I just personally hate Crosby because of the whining and diving. Sure, he’s toned down of late, but wait until things aren’t going well for Pittsburgh, and it’ll start up again…

      Ovechkin is in a “slump” (I put it in quotes, because his production is still WAY up there)… He’ll snap out of it, and then he’ll start reeling Crosby in for goals (and maybe even assists).

      Wait and see, and until then, enjoy the show!

      BTW – someone was talking about Lemieux v Gretzky… I submit Steve Yzerman and Peter Stastny as better players overall than either of those two.

      1. Justin Welton Dec 8 20106:20 pm


        It isn’t just Cups or Medals that makes you better than Ovechkin…give me a break. We are comparing two players that are equally argued as the “best” HOCKEY players in the world. For the sake of the argument you would be a fool not to add those accomplishments.
        You just admitted to “hating” Crosby which makes me understand why you are upset. The bottom line is Crosby has done more in his career than Ovechkin, and nobody can argue otherwise until Ovechkin wins something.

        Ovechkin should and will win one in his career, but his teams has finished higher than Pittsburgh’s in the past two years…FACT. They won the President’s Trophy(121 points) last season. They have finished in the top 3 for three consecutive seasons. We can make all the excuses we want about why Ovechkin hasn’t won anything, but he has had chances and hasn’t capitalized on them.

        San Jose Sharks of the east? If they flop out again, they should be considered that.

        1. Dan Rakusan Dec 8 20107:29 pm


          I am not upset, I thought that came across quite clearly… I admitted to both players being superlative talents, just in different ways. Nobody will ever convince me that you can measure who the “best” player is… You can only clearly indicate who is NOT the best. At this stage, Crosby has a slight edge, but the season is young. We can evaluate it later on…

          Whether Washington is the SJ of the east is still a debate that is far off on the horizon. They’ve only even been competitive for a couple of seasons. San Jose has been choking in the playoffs for YEARS!

          1. Justin Welton Dec 8 20107:39 pm

            Completely agree about SJ of the East…. but will it be a disappointment if they don’t go anywhere….again? I couldn’t argue if people started to call them the SJ of the east because this would be FOUR years in a row…where they haven’t done anything.

            So you are agreeing that Crosby has the edge AS WE SPEAK? Is that correct? Hence the article name….FOR NOW. That is the basics of the article. I clearly believe that Crosby is better as we speak and you just agreed. Could this change? Of course, both players are still young, and Ovechkin can do damage real soon. For the sake of the argument you CAN measure who the best is as we speak. They have played around the same amount of games and their career points are similar.

            And I am not just talking about this season…quite frankly I could care less what Crosby is currently doing (1 goal tonight) but this is more about what has happened in their careers thus far. Edge to Crosby….for now.

          2. Dan Rakusan Dec 8 20109:02 pm

            I only agree that Crosby has the edge THIS SEASON in terms of “as we speak”… Accomplishments mean nothing in a team game. Essentially, one could put forth the argument that Jarome Iginla is a better player than Ovechkin because he’s been to the cup finals and has a gold medal. Nonsense.

            My main point was that Ovechkin and Crosby bring different things to the table, and a team couldn’t really go wrong with picking either one with their first overall pick.

          3. Justin Welton Dec 8 201010:00 pm

            I did not see this comment. No, i’m not talking about just this season. Use this season as part of the equation. I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT OTHER PLAYERS….SO FORGOT THAT IDEA. This is between Ovechkin and Crosby thus far into their careers. Nobody is going to convince me that RIGHT NOW Ovechkin is the “best” player in Hockey.

            They do bring different qualities to the game. I would still pick Crosby.

          4. Dan Rakusan Dec 11 20102:19 pm

            Right now, the best player in hockey is Tim Thomas! Just sayin’…

      2. Justin Welton Dec 8 20107:44 pm


        I respect the opinion….but really? LOL Yzerman and Statsny better players overall than Lemieux and Gretzky? I’ll just say one thing though….I’ll take Gretzky and Lemieux and will be smiling like a butcher’s dog :)

        1. Dan Rakusan Dec 8 20108:59 pm


          Yup, better players OVERALL… In terms of defensive responsibility, leadership, and basically willingness to fight through adversity. Take your prima donna rock-star stats. I’d rather have genuinely good people with similar skills and more dedication to the game. Sorry, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this…lol

          1. Justin Welton Dec 8 20109:05 pm

            Of course I had to pull out a Mike Lange quote my friend lol…just seemed right.

            Lol its ok bud. I figured you were going to bring up defense as one of your main pieces. I like Gretzky and Lemieux in all of your categories except defense. Especially for the “willingness” to fight through adversity… I respect Mario for the hardships he has had in his life. I would love to sit here and argue every point you just made because it would be easy but i am going to leave it at that lol. Like you said…we’ll have to agree on disagreeing and i’m fine with that.

        2. Dan Rakusan Dec 8 20108:59 pm


          …And, if I’m the butcher, the dog isn’t smiling… He’s in your next package of sausages… I hate dogs.

      3. Justin LeFev Dec 9 20103:44 pm


        hmmm…..Crosby not physical. I take it you watch maybe 1 or 2 Penguin games per year because he is one of the most “physical” players in the league. Now that said he is not a “checker” and doesn’t take runs at people like Ovechkin does (i actually like that Ovechkin does this). But physical in the sense of the term, he finishs checks if it doesn’t involve him taking himself out of the play. He fights, he never shy’s away from contact…..in my mind his playing style if more of a strong, talented super grinder…..he doesn’t have that super smooth skating style and it’s more power than finesse and in most cases he’s not a finesse player….So…i agree he’s not a dominating checker like Ovechkin (Ovechkin frame has a lot to do with this)…..but he’s one of the most intense hard working “physical” (in the sense of the word) players on the planet. Saying that, Oveckins is great i think at some points he was a better player. But like Malkin, i believe people will catch on to his style and shut him down……Crosby continuosly changes…..went from a 35 goals scorer to a 51…and now probably 60ish. Both are insanely and are probably equally good in there own right.

        1. Dan Rakusan Dec 11 20102:21 pm


          When you say Crosby fights, do you mean he sucker-punches people in the nuts? Because that’s pretty much all I’ve seen out of him…

  4. John Dec 7 20108:54 pm


    Crosby vs Ovechkin is a new twist on a old story.Before it was Lemieux vs Gretzky.One thing they all have in common is by themselves they can do wonderous things,but not everything.When they get good supporting players then they win the big one.That is why hockey is a TEAM sport.

  5. MacDonald Dec 9 20104:53 pm


    I must say that I don’t really see this as a competition. Offensively they have always been close in stats. Early in their careers Ovechkin had the edge in goals, Crosby in assists. But what makes Crosby better is his ability to change. He wanted to score more, so he worked at it and now he does. I’m not sure if Ovechkin will ever catch him and goals now that it is a priority for Crosby. But that can’t be proven yet, so lets look at other important factors. Crosby is one of the best face-off men in the league. He also blocks shots and now kills penalties. Ovechkin does none of these things. Ovechkin also plays with much better line mates, and saying Crosby should make his line mates better is ridiculous. HE DOES. Pascal Dupuis and Kunitz would be lucky to make the second line on any other competitive team, yet playing with Crosby the line is still productive. Crosby is a way better all around player, and as of right now even the better offensive player. Including the fact that Ovechkin has yet to win anything of importance just further cements Crosby’s dominance. If you ask any general manager who they would rather build a team around, the answer is crosby. He scores, back checks, wins face-offs, and shows great leadership on and off the ice.

  6. Flyers Fan Dec 11 201012:22 am


    Stop saying best in the world. None of these players are the best in the world. This is the United States, not Canada or Russia

  7. JohnBoy Dec 22 20103:29 pm


    People trying to defend Ovechkins position as the better player are getting harder and harder to read. They are really running short on legitiment arguements. Watch HBO’s 24/7.

    Crosby is simply the best all around player. There isn’t one aspect of the game he doesn’t excell in. Whereas Ovechkin simply creates highlight reels goals/plays hits.

    It is the simplest way to argue pro Crosby. Plays excellent offense, creative defense, Power-Play, Penalty kill, leads teams to major championships. Shows up when the game is on the line.

    When every aspect of the game is considered Crosby wins. I do however agree that Ovechkin has an edge in offence. That is all.

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