A look back at the Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby rivalry

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals drafted Alex Ovechkin number one overall in the 2004 NHL Draft. One year later, it was the Pittsburgh Penguins turn and they went with Sidney Crosby.

Ever since, their names have been linked together. And they will continue to be long after they retire.

Ovechkin is now 37. Crosby, once called Sid the Kid, is not a kid anymore. He’s 35.

Here’s where their numbers stand. Crosby has 548 goals and 946 assists for 1,494 points in 1,180 career games. Ovechkin has 821 goals and 660 assists for 1,481 points in 1,341 career games. Not much separation between two players who are both skilled in their own unique way.

You have Crosby who’s like a quiet assassin. Real quick. Good stick work. Hard nose to the net. Not afraid to make the big play. And he’s been known for the clutch goal here and there on a couple of Penguins Stanley Cups. All of them had to be won by going through Washington.

Then you have Ovechkin who’s like a rock star. Big personality, larger than life figure both in Washington and his home land in Russia. And he’s the best goal scorer in the game chasing a record once deemed impossible. And even though the Penguins won those Cups, Ovechkin would get his Cup and he earned it by going through Pittsburgh in the second round.

Ovechkin had a game winning goal in Game 3 that shifted the momentum of that series. Ovechkin carried that to his first Stanley Cup and won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

That was back when both teams were good. But right now we’re in weird and unprecedented times.

Usually when I type this the COVID pandemic gets worse. But this time it’s the Caps and Pens have gotten older and we may seem both of them not in the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

light. More. Sonny Milano out for a bit with upper body injury

Tonight’s game could decide who barley gets in the big dance. Whoever loses is sure to just miss it. But perhaps the biggest storyline is this. It’s that we don’t have much of the Ovi vs. Sid matchups left. We gotta enjoy this while it lasts. As much as I love hockey the game will be boring when both of them retire.