Unless you’re new to the NHL, you’ve probably heard of the Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin rivalry that has been brewing for nearly 15 years now. They both entered the league post-2004 lockout and have been 1-2 in nearly every offensive category since then and they each own hardware to go along with the stats. Let’s look at how they stack up against each other with the help of the fantastic hockey-reference.
The first one is obvious, but let’s take a look at it anyway.
- The number of goals Ovechkin has scored is incredible. He’s probably the only player that will even come close to Wayne Gretzky’s career mark, possibly ever. Oveckin’s goal scoring ability is second only to his avail-ability which is also staggering.
- Crosby coming second on this list is pretty impressive as well. Crosby has scored some of the most impressive goals during his time but he is known much more for his playmaking ability. Not to mention the games Crosby has missed due to injury. Crosby has a few Richard Trophy’s to his name, too, so he’s no slouch in the goal scoring department and it shows on this list.
The other obvious difference between the two.
- Here’s where Crosby’s games missed make the biggest difference. Crosby averages .81 assists per game which is also incredible considering the era he played in. But as you can see Joe Thornton is still top of the list for now but Crosby is closing in on him in a hurry.
- Ovechkin making an appearance at tenth place is surprising, too, considering Ovechkin doesn’t rack up the assists like he did in his early days. Ovechkin averaged over 50 assists per season in his first six seasons, but has only topped 30 assists in a season three times since 2011. He only has 19 assists in 68 games this year.
- Crosby and Oveckin have been jockeying for tops in the points race since they both entered the league as rookies in 2005. Ovechkin outscored Crosby in both goals and points which won him the Calder Trophy in 2006. Crosby put up a career high 120 points the next season and the arms race between the two hasn’t ended or slowed down since.
- The two of them have nearly 200 points more than the next closest trio of Joe Thornton, Evgeni Malkin and Patrick Kane. Again the games missed is the biggest difference between Ovechkin and Crosby. But like I said above, Ovechkin’s best ability is his tendency to not get injured.
- This is another surprising list. Not surprising that Ovechkin is at the top, but that Crosby is so low on the list with some other surprising names ahead of Crosby. Once again Ovechkin is far ahead of the next closest player, with nearly 50% more game-winning goals than Jeff Carter.
- Here’s where Ovechkin paved his way to glory. He scored a majority of these 260 goals from the same spot. I don’t even need to explain because you likely already know. Coaches, teams and goalies all have known for 15 years yet still can’t stop it. That’s the sign of greatness.
- Crosby and Malkin have only 29 more goals combined than Ovechkin has by himself, yet sit third and fourth on this list since 2005. Just another example of the dominance that Ovechkin has over the rest of the league when it comes to putting pucks in the back of the net.
Crosby: 2009, 2016, 2017
Crosby: 2016, 2017
Crosby: 2007, 2014
Ovechkin: 2008-’09, 2013
Crosby: 2010, 2017
Ovechkin: 2008-’09, 2013-’16, 2018-’19
Crosby: 2007, 2014
Crosby: 2007, 2013-’14
Crosby: 2007, 2010, 2013-’17, 2019
Ovechkin: 2006-’11, 2013-’16, 2019
This is just the first installment and this is just barely scratching the surface. As you can see there aren’t a lot of players better than these two in the last 15 years. Be sure to keep an eye out for the next chapter that will dive deeper into one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the NHL.