Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin: Who Has the Edge?

Script written by Clayton Martino.

Hockey fans constantly compare Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin: they’re both two of the best NHL forwards in history, they’re both team captains and they’ve both played for their country on the world stage. But who wins the Crosby versus Ovechkin rivalry? WatchMojo pits Sidney Crosby against Alexander Ovechkin to see who is the better hockey player.

Special thanks to our user Santana Campbell for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Sidney%20Crosby%20vs%20Alexander%20Ovechkin


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Script written by Clayton Martino.

Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin: Who's Better?

Do you love Sid the Kid, or are you more of an Ovi fan? Welcome to, and in this installment of Versus, we’re pitting Sidney Crosby against Alexander Ovechkin to see which is the better hockey player.

Round 1: International Success

Both Crosby and Ovechkin have competed on the international stage numerous times during their careers, with Sid representing Canada and Ovi playing for Russia. Crosby’s gold at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey was his fifth while wearing the red maple leaf, including Olympic golds at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. Famously, he scored the winning goal in overtime back in 2010 to nab Canada the top honors. Following the Sochi Olympics, Canada’s golden boy had a total of five goals and 10 points in 13 career Olympic games.

Ovechkin, on the other hand, had yet to win an Olympic medal as of 2017, let alone a gold. Most of his success on the world stage has come at the IIHF World Championships, where he helped lead Russia to gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2014. By the end of 2016, in 96 career games for Russia, Ovi scored 43 goals.

So who’s had more success when they’ve met on the world stage? The two first faced off at the World Junior Championships back in 2005 in the gold medal game, with a 6-1 victory for Canada. They also squared off in the 2010 Olympic quarterfinals ­– a 7-3 win for Canada – and in the 2015 World Championship final; a 6-1 win for Canada. In those three games, Crosby scored three points while Ovechkin had a big fat zero.

With better success in the Olympics and a clear advantage in head-to-head matchups, Sid the Kid takes round one.

WINNER: Crosby 1 / Ovechkin 0

Round 2: Entertainment Value

Hockey is a tough, physically demanding game, so sometimes you need to have a little bit of fun. Of the two, Crosby is the more reserved personality. It’s not that he doesn’t have fun, but he’s essentially your stereotypical hockey player, giving cliché answers during interviews and always putting the team’s success before his own. His goal celebration often involves him dropping to one knee and fist-pumping.

Ovechkin is almost the complete opposite. Although we wouldn’t say he’s a selfish player, he likes to have fun on and off the ice, and isn’t afraid to let it show. Whether he’s nearly getting decapitated by a warehouse door or donning a cowboy hat and sunglasses during a skills competition, Ovi is always trying to entertain. Of course, this has attracted negative attention at times from older hockey generations, with people like Don Cherry criticizing his goal celebrations.

While the so-called hockey “purists” may not love Ovi’s antics, he certainly makes the game fun to watch, so for that reason alone we have to go with Ovechkin for this round.

WINNER: Crosby 1 / Ovechkin 1

Round 3: Goal Scoring

At the end of the day, hockey is a pretty simple game: can you score more goals than your opposition? If you do, you win – and both of these guys know how to score goals. By the end of the 2016-17 regular season, Crosby had scored 382 goals in 782 career regular season games since entering the league in 2005. He burst onto the NHL stage in his rookie campaign, putting in 39 goals, and set a career-high with 51 back in 2010. While injuries in have slowed Sid down somewhat, he did score more than 40 goals in the 2016-17 regular season for the first time since that 51-goal year.

Ovechkin has been a goal-scoring machine since his first day in the league, and he hasn’t let up. He found the back of the net 52 times in his rookie season, and by the end of the 2016-17 regular season, he’d yet to score fewer than 30 in any season of his career. He scored a remarkable 65 goals back in the 2007-2008 campaign, and has potted 50 or more goals in three consecutive seasons twice. By the end of the 2016-17 regular season, he had a total of 558 goals in 921 career regular season games, giving him a higher goals-per-game average than Wayne Gretzky.

While we could debate who has scored the more important goals throughout their careers, it’s pretty easy to see which player is the better pure goal scorer. Round three goes to Ovi.

WINNER: Crosby 1 / Ovechkin 2

Round 4: Playoff Success

Putting up points and wins in the regular season is all well and good, but the playoffs are truly where legends are born. Although the Penguins missed the playoffs in Crosby’s rookie season, they qualified every year after that – and the team has experienced great success, going into the 2017 playoffs with two Stanley Cups since Sid the Kid joined the team. Sid has been vital to that success, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for the playoff MVP in 2016.

Washington’s also had a successful run qualifying for the playoffs with Ovechkin in the lineup, but wins in the postseason have not come easily. Despite leading the league in points three times, Ovi’s Capitals went into the 2017 playoffs without ever having made it to the Conference Finals – let alone the Stanley Cup Finals. In fact, by that point, the team had been eliminated in the first round three times since Ovechkin came onboard. While Ovechkin is a consistent goal scorer in the playoffs, it hasn’t necessarily translated to victories. For example, leading into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he’d played in nine Game 7s, losing six of them.

Hockey’s a team sport, so it’s hard to pin victories or losses strictly on one player. But when the going gets tough, Crosby and the Penguins have historically performed better than Ovechkin and the Caps, which means Sid takes this round.

WINNER: Crosby 2 / Ovechkin 2

Round 5: Skill Set

Crosby and Ovechkin are certainly two of the best offensive players of their generation. But who has the better skill set? Crosby can definitely put in goals, and scored his 1000th point in the NHL in February 2017. But he’s perhaps best known for his passing skills: for example, he tallied a ridiculous 84 assists back in 2006-2007. As a centerman, Crosby also needs to be good on the draws – and he has been, with a career faceoff percentage of over 50%. Crosby’s defensive abilities have also improved steadily over the years, and he’s arguably one of the best 200-foot players in the league.

Ovechkin, on the other hand, is a goal-scoring maestro. Not just that, but many of his goals have a serious ‘wow’ factor to them. There’s more to his style of play than scoring goals, however. Ovechkin isn’t your stereotypical soft Russian: he has a nastiness to his game, averaging nearly three hits a game in 2016-17. Although Ovi’s defensive game has gotten better over the years, the fact that he plays on the wing means he has fewer defensive responsibilities than a centerman.

Ultimately, both Crosby and Ovechkin are incredibly talented and possess better hockey skills than almost everyone on the planet. While Ovechkin may be the better goal scorer, Crosby has a more versatile game, and as such, takes this round.

WINNER: Crosby 3 / Ovechkin 2

And that means, Crosby shoots and scores for the overall win in this match-up with a close 3-2 victory. Hey, there’s a reason they call him “The Next One.”

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