As we are already halfway through this fourth season that have pitted these two superstars head to head for recognition as hockey's BEST player, I am proposing that the debate stops here.
After three seasons the players have put up fairl similar numbers
Sidney Crosby 236 GP 112 G 216 A 328 PTs +38
Alexander Ovechkin 267 GP 176 G 164 A 340 PTS +24
The largest difference between the two is that Ovy gets most of his points from goals while Sid gets his name on the sheet by feeding his teammates. Both of these guys have a Hart and Art Ross Trophy in their cabinet.
A lot of people still use the rookie season as a way to distinguish one from the other. In truth four points seperate the two players that season. I think it is fair to say that, that one piece of hardware came down to a points race. Which in ths case was the best way to determine the winner but is not always a measure of who is a better player. I hate hearing people talk about how the Pens were a stacked team that year...Their attempt to rebuild the franchise to support Mario and Sid was not as successful as some would like to believe. Really the only lasting impact of the guys they reeled in is Gonchar.
Many often question Ovechkin's leadership qualities and choose to tout Crosby as the better guy to build the franchise around (possibly because of the marketing and media attention he brings with him). However, I think this is unfair to Ovechkin. He is still adjusting to life in North America (while its been four years I think he spent most of his time worrying about hockey instead of becoming a media darling).
In my opinion these players cannot be so easily compared. While both are supposed to go out there and be a game breaker they do so in a different way. Ovechkin by doing ANYTHING to get the puck and put it in the net (has anyone ever watched Ovechkin late in a close game...I swear I have seen him log 4 minute shifts!). While Crosby will do what he can to help his team score a goal, sometimes accepting that he is more beneficial as the set up man. Ovy knows his job is to go out and entertain on the ice with his flashy play and childlike celebrations (childlike to be read in a positive manner), whereas Sid knows his reponsibilities are to play at the star level while also acting like the mature young player he is projected as.
There is no doubt both players, providing they remain healthy, will go on to have brilliant careers. I just hope that by the end the hockey world will be saying Crosby AND Ovechkin as opposed to Ovechkin OR Crosby.