The Great Debate

Last night, as I was watching sportscentre (as I’m sure most of us do on a nightly basis), I caught something one of the sportscentre news anchors said about Sidney Crosby. It was immediately after reporting on the highlights of the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators game (which clearly had nothing to do with Sidney Crosby) where Alexander “The Great” Ovechkin had 3 assists and 10 shots in a game that he and the Capitals totally dominated. He said that its too bad Crosby doesn’t have the same kind of help in Pittsburgh that Ovechkin has in Washington because then we would really be able to see what Crosby can do.

Are you serious?

Just for the record, I am definately not a Crosby hater but at some point you have to realise that concerning the Ovechkin-Crosby debate, the lines have been drawn and the sides have been taken (the anchor is clearly a Crosby fan)…so i guess its time to follow suite. I have officially crossed the line and joined the many NHL fans in support of Alexander Ovechkin.

Crosby’s hockey career has been one of the earliest and most closely followed careers in sports history. Ever since he made his debut with the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL, it seemed as though the NHL was just waiting to hand the reigns over to him and bring about the new MY NHL with Crosby as its centerfold. On and off the ice, Crosby was going to be the NHL’s embassador, a position that had yet to be filled since The Great One’s retirement. The NHL even got lucky(?) enough to have a league wide draft the year Crosby was entering the NHL which gave every team and consequently every fan, although some more than others, a glimmer of hope that the next “Great One” could end up on their roster. The Draft was advertised as “The Crosby Draft” with every pick after the first selection being relatively meaningless. He was supposed to single handedly bring about the next generation of hockey and with a new salary cap and a couple of rule changes, potentially save the sport from potential extinction.

Then there was Ovechkin, a name few had even heard of coming into the 05-06 season despite him being the number one draft pick the previous year. A russian born winger with the all the skills needed to compete in the NHL but none of those physical skills even come close to why he has been so successful thus far. Ovechkin has a passion for the game reminiscent of Maurice Richard and Mario Lemieaux and puts it all out there day in and day out. He puts his body on the line everyday and leaves absolutely nothing to be desired in his game, just ask his coach who lets him take it easy during practice (Alex doesnt like practice lol) because of the effort he puts into games. He hits, he passes, he plays defense and he makes ridiculously spectacular goals look tremendously easy (goal against Phoenix!). He doesn’t whine, yell or complain to referees and his broken english is good enough to understand how much he really loves this game.

At the start of last season, noone thought that Sidney Crosby was going to lose the Calder (Rookie of the Year) to anyone never mind Alexander Ovechkin. Crosby was supposed to be the future of the NHL. Instead, the future of the NHL will be in the hands of both Ovechkin and Crosby (in that order) and personally, I dont think the NHL could be happier.

They prayed for one miracle and they were given two.


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