Thursday, March 16, 2006

Around the Blogosphere: Ovechkin vs. Crosby

Although it seems to be "in the bag" that Alexander Ovechkin will win the Calder Trophy over Sidney Crosby, the actual voting may be closer than one would think, given some of the comments made by media members, other players, and hockey executives.

Here's a blogosphere look at Crosby vs. Ovechkin.

Jamie Fitzpatrick seems to think that there is no race at all, and that people devalue Ovechkin because he is the more flashy player:
Hockey people sometimes seem allergic to entertainment - imagine Ovechkin trying to play for a fun-killer like Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire. Fans can be ignorant of the complete player - backchecking wins as many games as goal scoring, but it doesn't sell tickets or get the sportscasters burbling with delight.

The Globe and Mail article makes a couple of other good points. The two rookies are seen as peers. But Ovechkin is 20 years old and Crosby 18, a significant divide. And many will be surprised to learn that the scoring race remains close, with Crosby projected for 94 points this season and Ovechkin for 101.

But the article doesn't acknowledge that Ovechkin is also growing into a complete player, one who certainly isn't shy about throwing his weight around. And there is no mention of Crosby's occasional tendency to lose his composure. "(Ovechkin) doesn't get frustrated if he gets hit, either," says Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson. "He gets up and keeps playing. Not like the other rookie (Crosby), who starts crying. I think there's a big difference in the attitude."

James Mirtle, the Globe and Mail editor/journalist, has a look at the 'lack' of a race and some comments made against his paper's Shawna Richer:

Globe reporter Shawna Richer does dig up some interesting tidbits from pretty 'in-the-know' sources that weigh in in Crosby's favour — something that I didn't, at this point, think possible. The argument about which rookie is 'better,' at least this season, had been seemingly dead since Crosby's Penguins lost 10 in a row and 16 of 17 games from early January to early February. (In fact, before Saturday's win over New Jersey, Pittsburgh had won just three times in their last 23 games. Now that's ugly.)
Over at OffWing Opinion, Eric offers two great side-by-side video montages of Sidney Crosby vs. Alexander Ovechkin. No matter which side of the fence you are on in this debate, this matches fer sum good watchin'.

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