Ever since Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby entered the league in 2005-06, they have been saddled with comparisons. The Crosby/Ovechkin rivalry is somewhat an NHL invention, eagerly marketed though the players have been friendly off the ice. It seems every few months, one player is asked about the other.
On Wednesday, CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley had a simple question for Ovechkin: who’s better right now? Ovechkin’s answer is literal fire.
Coming into Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins had been shut out by Braden Holtby in two consecutive games. To try and shake him, the Penguins crashed the net on every play.
That’s cool and all, but the Holtbeast wasn’t impressed. Especially when Chris Kunitz got a wee bit too close to his manimal cage.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a reputation among Caps fans as a whiner. He did not to help his cause tonight. After snapping his stick and shanking a one-timer late in the third period, a disgusted Crosby threw his broken stick against the boards, nearly impaling himself in the process.
Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and GIF that.
I spent my Saturday at Nationals Park — well, until NHL PR literally chased me out. The stadium is nearly in its full party dress with fake domes, banners, and a sheet of ice with logos on.
But alas, there were still more games on the calendar before New Year’s Day. Tonight the Caps visited Pittsburgh. A bunch of the Penguins have mumps. Crosby had mumps. Mumps makes your face big. Okay, we got that out of the way.
Editor’s note: Pat Holden has written about Caps hockey over at Brooks Laichyear since 2012. We’ve asked him to pitch in here at RMNB to smarten us up a bit. Please give Pat a warm welcome. Follow him on Twitter.
Alex Ovechkin won the Calder Trophy for NHL rookie of the year in 2006. That season, Ovechkin totaled 52 goals and 54 assist in 81 games. His 106 points is the 3rd highest total ever for a rookie.
But 2005-06 was also Sidney Crosby‘s rookie season. Crosby scored 39 goals and recorded 63 assists. According to Wikipedia, the only other time two rookies scored over 100 points in the same season was in 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne and Joe Juneau did it.
Voting for the Calder was not especially close. Ovechkin got 125 out of 129 first-place votes. He also received 4 second-place votes. Crosby got 4 first-place votes, 95 second-place votes, and a number of third- and fourth-place votes. Scoring 52 goals as a rookie is going to grab the attention of voters. Ovechkin’s highlight-reel goals and physical play were credited for helping him win the award nearly unanimously.
Advanced stats are more prevalent than ever before in the NHL, and are certainly more of a going concern than they were in the 2005-06 season. While many voters still pay them no mind, I want to take a look at how the Ovechkin’s and Crosby’s rookie seasons match-up from an advanced stats perspective.
The same day Boston Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton was fined for squirting his water bottle at P.K. Subban, New York Rangers goaltender and male model Henrik Lunqvist also got naughty with his Gatorade bottle. The recipient of the liquid hate this time was soon-to-be-named MVP Sidney Crosby, so this highlight goes to 11.
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