The Crosby/Ovechkin debate continues
There's a good piece today on Alex Ovechkin from The Globe and Mail's general columnist, Roy MacGregor, and he reiterates a familiar refrain with regards to the young Russian phenom and his Canadian counterpart Sidney Crosby...
Ovechkin's more exciting, a hyper-charged whiz kid — which makes him, without a doubt, the player you should be tuned into when he's in town. (By inference, Crosby is dull and uninteresting, the quintessential bland Canadian hockey star who, ho-hum, is leading the league in scoring as a teenager.)
But the thing I've found with my own hockey-watching habits, and especially so this season, is that when a Capitals and Penguins game are lined-up against one another, I'm clicking Centre Ice over to keep an eye on Crosby.
While he's perhaps not as overtly dynamic as Ovechkin — a trait one friend remarked to me today that was "like a bull in a china shop" — Crosby offers a glimpse of something altogether different, a look at a player who can map the ice surface and its participants in his mind and manipulate the set pieces seemingly at will. He makes his teammates better and more prolific than Ovechkin ever will and has an uncanny understanding of what's unfolding on the ice and how best to act as a result of that.
And while Ovechkin is an unbelievable talent, one who will join the pantheon of hockey heroes the likes of Pavel Bure and Brett Hull, I get the feeling when watching Crosby that, just maybe, we're finally seeing that once-in-a-generation star that the NHL hasn't had since the Gretzky/Lemieux tandem of the 80s and early 90s.
And while Crosby doesn't play like he's "running away from an angry dog," you get the feeling that's only because he doesn't have to.