Crosby and Ovechkin Do Not Like Each Other

Posted by Richard Pollock in Pittsburgh Penguins,Washington Capitals on February 22, 2009 — 1 Comment

From TSN:

“What I can say about him?” Ovechkin said. “He is a good player, but he talks too much.”

And what does Crosby make of Ovechkin’s showmanship?

“Like it or lump it, that’s what he does,” Crosby said. “Some people like it, some people don’t. Personally, I don’t like it.”

It doesn’t end there:

There’s more. Ovechkin isn’t happy that Crosby accused the Capitals star of a “cheap shot” hit in Washington’s win at Pittsburgh last month.

“I play hard. If he wants to do something like hit me again, try to hit me again – and I’ll talk to you guys (about) who plays dirty,” Ovechkin said. “That’s my game. It’s not cheap shots, it’s a game moment. But he doesn’t like it, it’s his problem.”

Finally:

“I think he got frustrated because he wasn’t getting the freedom he’s had in this building before,” Boudreau said of Crosby’s fracas with Ovechkin. “It adds spice. It’s entertainment. It gets your blood boiling a bit. And every time Alex gets a little more excitable, it can be good for us.”

Well, what can you say? These two players don’t like each other at all, and I, for one, think that is terrific.  This rivalry isn’t comparable to the Gretzky/Lemieux rivalry for a number of reasons.  First off, Gretzky came along before Lemieux and their primes were at different times.  Additionally, for all the competitive spirit between the two, it was Gretzky who is widely credited with showing Lemieux “the way” to success at the 1987 Canada Cup.  So, while they may have fought wildly for the title of best player in the late 80’s and early 90’s, they had great respect for each other.

In this case, I am not so sure that Crosby and Ovechkin respect each other.  Sure they know they are both tremendously talented but that doesn’t mean they respect each other.  By all indications, they can’t stand each other and I can’t figure out how that is bad for the NHL?  In fact, it makes for great theater. 

Obviously we cannot forget that Evgeni Malkin plays in these games as well, but many believe that Crosby and Ovechkin are the top two players in the game.  They are the players the league builds its marketing campaigns and television schedules around.  We missed out last year when the Capitals were a Game 7 overtime goal away from facing the Penguins in the second round but eventually these two players will meet in the playoffs.  As fans, let’s hope that is sooner rather than later.

Now, if only Ray Shero could speed up the possibility of that happening and get Crosby some wingers that are capable of consistently suiting up alongside of him…