It feels like the 1,000th time we’re seeing Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby go head to head. But it’s actually the 66th time. Still though, that’s a lot and unfortunately for us, Pens fans, and NHL fans in general, time is running out for both of them.
That is the sad reality of both superstars not getting any younger. Ovechkin turned 38. Crosby turned 36. Both have grey hair at this point.
But tonight on Friday the 13th we get to see the two open the season against each other and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We don’t know how good either team will truly be but after tonight we could get more of an idea.
First let’s hear what Crosby said about the rivalry, which started off by describing his expectation of tonight’s game being “intense”:
"“I think both teams understand when we play each other that there’s a little bit more to the game it seems like. That’s developed over the years… Just having the opportunity all these years to just go up against him, to be in the same division, and have that matchup, it’s probably brought the best out of both of us.”"
"“It’s always been nice to play against Sid. He’s a tough player in the league and that rivalry between me and Sid, Caps and the Pens, it’s always been at the top of the league over the years.”"
What makes the rivalry unique unlike Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid is that both the Caps and the Pens are in the same division. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers don’t even play in the same conference.
We are honestly really lucky to still have these guys playing at the top of their game for such a long time. From their first meeting as rookies, to the dueling hat trick game in their first playoff matchup, to seeing the Pens break our hearts and then our Caps breaking theirs, it’s truly been a rivalry for the ages.
What makes Ovechkin and Crosby linked together is more than just being top draft picks for two years. It’s the way they both lead their team and their personalities. You got the rockstar vibes in Ovechkin and you got the innocent Canadien in Crosby.
Tonight they go head to head for the 66th time. We don’t know how many more of these we will have left. Whether you’re a Capitals fan or a Penguins fan, enjoy every minute of it. See you at 7:30.