The way the last year has gone for Alex Ovechkin, you can pretty much bet the farm that Sidney Crosby is going to hang a hat trick on Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

First came last season's playoff series between the Capitals and Penguins, won by Crosby en route to hoisting the Stanley Cup. Then came the Olympics, where Ovechkin's hyped Russian team flamed out early and Crosby cemented his status as a national icon by scoring the gold-clinching goal in overtime. And now the first round, where Crosby totaled five goals and nine assists in six games to help the Penguins fend off the pesky Senators. And where Ovechkin could only watch as the Canadiens knocked off his top-seeded Capitals, leading one SportsNation commenter to put it succinctly.

But how bad was Ovechkin, really? He had five goals and five assists, meaning he played a part in almost half of the team's goals against Montreal. So who really deserves the blame?

shootthem14

I'd take Datsuk, Zetterberg, Malkin or Crosby over Ovie any day. IMHO Datsuk and Malkin were the two best players in the league last year. I'd say so far Datsuk and Crosby are the two best players this season.

-- ShootTheM14
tamaz71

Someone mentioned Ovechkin not having a great supporting cast ... Semin, a 40 goal scorer on the reg, turned into a ghost. Backstrom, before the series widely considered one of the best young centers in the game, disappeared when it counted. Jose Theodore won a lot of games this year. So did Varlamov. Wasn't Mike Green a Norris finalist? Isn't Mike Knuble the veteran locker room presence that every young team needs?

-- tamaz71
dcsteelfan

I don't understand how Crosby vs. Ovechkin was ever an arguement in the first place. I understand they both play different positions and people like big hits and flashy players, but Crosby takes faceoffs and wins a good percentage of the time, and Ovi doesn't. Crosby back-checks and plays defense, Ovi doesn't. And when Crosby decided to focus on his goal scoring last summer it only lead to him scoring the most goals in the NHL. Crosby does everything Ovechkin does plus more.

-- DCSteelFan

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