The Penguins-Caps rivalry is fueled by a battle of captains in Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Washington's Alex Ovechkin. Separated by just one year and forever intertwined, many have wondered exactly who is the better player.
That answer is complicated, as Crosby has largely had more success in the postseason, yet missed significant time due to concussion issues which have made the statistical comparison nearly obsolete. Nonetheless, both remain two of the faces of the sport.
Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin Stats
A helpful graphic from NBCSN puts both Crosby and Ovechkin's careers in historical perspective.
The overall goal numbers are in Ovi's favor, as he's one of the best pure snipers the sports has ever seen. Yet, one could argue Crosby makes more of an overall impact on the game, specifically in finding open teammates, back-checking and in the face-off circle. Not to mention, Crosby's points-per-game average is higher than Ovechkin's.
Durability, of course, should also factor in. While most Crosby supporters will point to his concussion woes in the middle of his career, Ovechkin has hardly ever been forced off the ice. That has to count for something.
Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin Awards
Ovechkin has a minor edge in Hart Trophies, as he's won the NHL MVP award on three separate occasions, with Crosby only taking home the hardware twice. Crosby, meanwhile, has three Ted Lindsay trophies and two Art Ross trophies. Crosby's postseason success has landed him two Conn Smythe trophies as well, while Ovechkin won the award due to his electric 2018 Stanley Cup playoff performance.
Sidney Crosby vs Alex Ovechkin Stanley Cup Success
Ovechkin was ridiculed his entire carer up until 2018 for his inability to secure the coveted Stanley Cup. Finally, the Caps were able to overcome their demons, beating the Penguins on their way to the first Cup in franchise history.
Crosby, on the other hand, has three Stanley Cups to his name including back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017.