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Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin vs Evgeni Malkin

Alright, so this post is only tangentially related to the Wild, but I have to get something off my chest.

Is anyone else who is not a fan of Washington or Pittsburgh tired of all the debate about who is the better player between these three guys? I use Google Reader to funnel all of my hockey and blog related reading directly to my cerebellum. In the past two months, as the excitement of the season has dwindled, the trade deadline passed, and the playoffs are still too far away to get excited about, it seems every day there is a new contribution to the debate.

Let's take a look from outside the hype and build up of those two fine cities. Follow me after the jump, and join the debate of the century!


Here are the numbers:

Sidney "Sid the Kid" Crosby

Sidney Crosby

#87 / Center / Pittsburgh Penguins



Aug 07, 1987

SB Nation's stats insert is last year's numbers, so here are Sid's career stats as borrowed from Yahoo!

GP       G        A        PTS      +/-     PIM   PPG   PPA    GWG    SOG

280    126    260      386     34      276    38      130      15        905


Evgeni "I play in Pittsburgh Too" Malkin

Evgeni Malkin

#71 / Center / Pittsburgh Penguins



Jul 31, 1986

GP       G        A        PTS      +/-     PIM   PPG   PPA    GWG    SOG

232    112    181     293      37      226    45     70         14      776


Alexander "The Great" Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin

#8 / Left Wing / Washington Capitals



Sep 17, 1985

GP       G        A        PTS      +/-     PIM   PPG   PPA    GWG    SOG

314   212    188      400      20      212    75      89        34      1720


Alright, so looking at the numbers, Ovechkin looks to have the edge, though not by a ton. He has more points, more power play goals, and he shoots the puck every time he touches it. Other than that, the numbers are very close.

You may ask, "What's your point, Buddha?"

The point is, as much as fans want to hate the other guy, as much as Caps fans want to call Cosby a baby, wear pacifiers to games, and don the Sidney Crosby diving school shirts, the numbers say he is a winner. As much as fans in Pittsburgh want to talk about how AO chirps like a bird and should just shut up and play the game, his numbers say he has every right to chirp. Usually lost in the shuffle is Evgeni Malkin who always seems to be the after thought in the conversation. Of course, Pittsburgh fans and the main stream media liked to bring up the head hunting AO did on Geno, but that all fell apart at the All-Star game.

Arguments fly back and forth. Crosby is a pansy, he is a whiner, he isn't tough enough, he dives at the slightest touch, and he fights like a school girl. Ovechkin is a loud mouth puck hog who is more likely to kiss Don Cherry than to pass the puck, and is only out to make himself look good and hurt someone along the way. Malkin, well, he is Malkin, he just sits back and is quiet about most everything.

Puck Daddy has the feature "Today in Crosby Bashing, " which showcases the new and interesting ways that fans around the league are finding to disparage him, such as putting his picture in urinals, the aforementioned pacifiers and t-shirts, and any other number of things human depravity has come up with.

Now, why would a Wild blogger be writing about this? Why does it matter to me? That is easy to answer. I care because I would saw off my left leg to have any one of these three guys come and practice with the Wild, let alone play for them. Do I even dare to dream that will ever happen, of course not. Should someone like Crosby end up in Iron Range Red, I would also fully expect the pacifiers and t-shirts to come from Calgary and Vancouver instead of Washington and Philadelphia.

The problem I have with all of the debate and banter back and forth about which of these three guys is the best is that Wild fans have no entry in the debate to even tie skates for these guys, let alone who is better than them. I just wish once or twice I could have seen one participant in the debate own up to the fact that they have it pretty good with these guys, no matter who is "the best." Just once I would like one of the entries in the debate to start with something along the line of, "I know that we have it better than 99% of the league, but..."

Just once i would like to see these same people enter the debate should these three players play for teams other than their current team. Put Crosby in LA, Malkin in Florida, and Ovechkin in Minnesota. Now, go back to Pittsburgh and Washington and ask these same fans to tell them which is the best. I'm all for the fanatic debate, but just once, just one time, I would like to see the debate crowd leave their team bias behind and realize just how good they really have it.

We fans over here in Minnesota will be standing off to the side, just waiting for our chance to join the debate, should we ever get a player who deserves mention.