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Sidney Crosby vs Alexander Ovechkin

4 April 2024

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Sid vs Ovi: Introduction

With only just 240 miles separating the two cities the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals have been team rivals for decades, but that team rivalry quickly became a player rivalry back  in 2005-2006 when Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin debuted as young talents. Crosby and Ovechkin were considered to be the greatest prospects the sport of hockey had ever seen. Not only did the two young men meet the lofty expectations that were set before them, but they exceeded them, immediately taking the NHL by storm. Within their rookie season, each player accumulated over 100 total points, in just 81 games played.

Ever since then, the Canadian and Russian born forwards have been compared closely by hockey fans worldwide. This debate is particularly interesting because they both entered the league simultaneously. They have had almost identical playing time for evaluation. It is safe to say that both of these players will be considered legends. With the end of their careers closely approaching, the question still remains, “Who is better?” 

Scoring Prowess comparison

Alexander Ovechkin is a monster when it comes to scoring goals. With a total of 845 career goals recorded (March 2024), it is no longer a question of whether or not he will pass hockey's “greatest” Wayne Gretzky, but more of a countdown. Ovechkin is just 54 goals away from breaking the record that was once deemed impossible! Hockey fans everywhere are watching closely as he gets closer and closer to this pivotal moment. Aside from goals, he has also led the NHL in shots on goal, eleven separate times. Showing his strong presence, and eagerness on the ice. 

Crosby on the other hand, may be a couple of hundred goals behind his rival, but he has the clear advantage in assists as well as total points. What’s even more impressive is he was able to do so having played 154 fewer games than Ovechkin due to injuries in the prime of his career. 

Crosby vs Ovechkin stats

Using Elite Prospects’ compare player feature allows you to view stats from childhood to present. For instance, at just 14 years old Crosby recorded 193 total points in just 74 games played with the Dartmouth Subways of the Nova Scotia Major Hockey League. He even holds the record for franchise all time points and goals. Crosby has played 19 seasons in the NHL. Every season, his total points exceeded games played. 

Ovechkin's output is slightly behind. He has four seasons with fewer points than games played. However, he still averages 1.0 points per game, just 0.2 points away from Crosby's average. This showcases the success of both players. Ovechkin has got the goals, Crosby has got the points. Which do you think makes for a better hockey player?

Source: Crosby vs Ovechkin 

Championship Success

Crosby has won a total of three Stanley Cups. Two of which were won in consecutive years and one he had the glory of lifting at just 21 years old. He holds the record of being the youngest captain in NHL history to lead a team to victory. Giving a young player the responsibility and privilege of being team captain comes with a great risk. But he proved his place on that team and since then has been a large reason for the team's success. It is clear that the Penguins have a better franchise record, but we are looking at the individual's roles.

Ovechkin may only have one championship win in the NHL under his belt, but along with that Cup win in 2018 he also received the Conn Smythe Trophy as Stanley cup MVP. He led the whole league in playoff goals that year. The number of awards and achievements this man has had is nothing short of incredible.  

Who is better?

What exactly qualifies as a legacy? Both Ovechkin and Crosby heavily contributed to the popularity of hockey. They were both known as the ones “who saved the league”. These two players have already left a legacy, even though their careers are not over. 

Once Alex Ovechkin passes THE legend himself, Wayne Gretzky, he will hold the record for most accumulated goals the league has ever seen. He will forever be remembered for that one monumental moment, and that is the legacy he will leave. 

Aside from his three Stanley Cup wins and 1571 total career points, Crosby gave much more than just his skills to the league. He gave inspiration to thousands of people involved in the sport. His legacy holds more than just numbers, it displays passion which is a legacy in its own right. 


Instead of fighting to come up with an answer for “who is better”, let us recognize the greatness and individuality in both Alexander Ovechkin, and Sidney Crosby. Both came into the league young, hungry, and very impressionable. When attempting to compare these two, it only brings up even more points showing why there will never be a “better” player. It will forever be a matter of opinion. From goals, to points, to awards, to Cups these guys have it all. Who do you want to see next in the Hockey Hall of Fame?


Nadine Rattner 

21 March 2024