Their statistics are remarkably similar. In 371 career games, Sid the Kid has scored 183 goals, racked up 323 assists for 506 points for an average of 1.36 points per game. Meanwhile Ovie has tallied a remarkable 269 goals and 260 assists for 529 points in 396 games. That averages out to 1.34 points per contest.
In terms of individual hardware, give Alexander the GR8 a slight advantage. He is the owner of two Hart trophies, a pair of Lester B. Pearson awards, two Rocket Richard trophies as well as a Calder Trophy and an Art Ross trophy. Crosby will have to 'settle' with his lone Hart, Rocket Richard, Art Ross and a Lester B. Pearson award.
Now Crosby gets the nod in terms of team success. Along with gold at the World Junior Championship, Crosby is also the proud owner of a Stanley Cup ring and an Olympic gold medal. Ovechkin will have to make due with his World Junior gold in 2003 and gold at the World Hockey Championship in 2008.
Although their resumes are unparalleled, the dynamic duo is facing criticism for their respective playoff exits.
The NHL's two biggest superstars recently found themselves humbled by the Cinderella run of the Montreal Canadiens. Ovechkin's Capitals fell in seven games in a thrilling opening round series, while Crosby's Penguins were eliminated on Wednesday in the Eastern Conference semifinals in a set that went the distance. Both players were heavily criticized by the media for their performances.
In seven first-round games, the 'Russian Dynamo' managed five goals and five assists while finishing the series with a plus-5 rating. While the numbers look impressive at first glance, six of the ten points were collected in two games (Caps victories in Game 2 and 4.) In addition, the world's top sniper was held without a goal in the final two games of the series.
While Crosby was dominant against the injury-depleted Ottawa Senators in the opening round (piling up five goals and nine assists in six games) he virtually disappeared in the Penguins' second round encounter with the Habs. Thanks to tight checking by the likes of Hal Gill and Josh Gorges and the spectacular goaltending of Jaroslav Halak, this season's co-Rocket Richard winner was limited to a solitary goal while dishing out four assists. Like Ovechkin, he too failed to score in the deciding game and was minus-2 on the night.
The question now is who has more reason to be upset following their premature exit?
Ovechkin's Capitals claimed the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top team. They finished some 33 points ahead of the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference standings. Their potent attack also featured the top scoring defenceman in the league in Mike Green and a pair of the top young players in the game in Alex Semin and Nicklas Backstrom. Meanwhile, Crosby's Penguins are the defending champions and two-time Stanley Cup finalists that also sported the talents of the reigning Art Ross and Conn Smythe Trophy winner in Evgeni Malkin.
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