Flashy razzle dazzle, supreme skill and individual high-light reel machine Alex Ovechkin carries the ‘C’ on his
chest for the No. 1 team in the National Hockey this season. His counterpart Sidney Crosby is far less flashy, but he’s still a human highlight reel of his own also has the
‘C’ stitched on his jersey.
However is there a difference between the
two star Captains? Which one deserves to wear the letter and which one
For the past few years the debate surrounding the NHL’s
top two stars has usually focused on the individual component that each
player brings to the ice. Using this element as the main criteria to
differentiate between the two, it seems clear that Ovechkin would
always finish up on top of Crosby. Ovechkin’s individual talent makes
jaws drop most each and every game. It is undeniable and it is very
entertaining to watch.
Does it really matter though? Can Ovechkin’s
individual entertaining play really help a team when it matters most or
are there some other elements to our hockey game that deserve far
greater attention? Have we fans been lulled into the camera flashing,
jumping into the glass, dropping your stick and acting like it’s burning
hot blind mentality (copying what looks like an NFL touchdown
celebration) and we follow it like sheep?
While Crosby is far
less entertaining and much more boring during interviews clearly has a
different agenda, to do whatever it takes to win hockey games. Sid the Kid seems to understand the most crucial question involved in competitive
sports – ‘what do I have to do to win this game?’ It seems obvious that
Crosby’s answer rarely ends up with: “It’s all about me.” Rather it
seems that Crosby comprehends that his individual nature as an athlete
can only become that much greater when he understands the most basic
element of any sport, that it is a team game and that the team has to
win, not he himself with some flashy goal or spectacular move.
rather when you can rely on the other four players on the ice and help make
the ‘whole team’ better through your individual actions, that is what
will create the outcome that athletes desire, to have your team come out
on top. Is this the main difference between the two players? Is
the concept so foreign to Ovechkin that he is simply lost in his Red Hot
Ferrari, “I think I am Mr. Hollywood”? Does Ovechkin understand what
it means to be a part of a team? Looking at his record it does not seem
The recent Winter Olympics and the Russians humiliating defeat
against Canada only highlights the topic of this article. Watching the
top seed in the NHL flame out in the playoffs once again, this time
being dispatched by the eighth seeded Montreal Canadiens, whom nobody picked to advance
into the second round, is the exclamation point on the issue.