By Donya Abramo
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby put away his green golf socks and sat down with former teammates Paul Bissonnette and Ryan Whitney to chat on their hockey podcast Spittin’ Chiclets.
While the interview was filled mostly with anecdotes and stories about Crosby’s career with the Penguins, the conversation turned his years-long rivalry with Ovechkin’s and whether or not the two share a relationship when they are off the ice.
“Yeah, pretty much on the ice,” Crosby confirmed. “I mean we see each other at different events and stuff, you know awards and things like that. But yeah, it’s pretty much on the ice and it’s had its moments over the years. I think that’s to be expected. We’ve kind of been built up against each other from day one, but we’ve had some good moments, some bad ones, but that just comes with playing against him so much.”
The media have always played up the Crosby-Ovechkin rivalry, which led Bissonnette to inquire whether or not it was all-media.
“I think it added to it,” Crosby noted. “It’s an easy storyline, right? You’ve got the Canadian kid, the Russian kid, the rivalry there between […] it’s just two totally different people as far as personalities are concerned.”
The two superstars have had their wholesome moments together from their brief “friendship” at the 2017 All-Star game to this NHL commercial.
But on the ice, there is a real rivalry. They’ve had dust-ups and shoving matches. Last December, the superstars had a moment which Crosby would most definitely define as bad when Ovechkin verbally challenged him to fight from the Capitals bench.
When Crosby was reminded of the dueling hat tricks that he and Ovechkin netted during their 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs matchup, he gave credit where credit was due. “We lost that game though,” Crosby said. “Better for him than me.”
Ovechkin’s third goal in that game eventually turned out to be the game-winner, though the Capitals later lost the series and the Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Bissonnette asked whether the Stanley Cup win that year got a monkey off Crosby’s back, in terms of that achievement coming early in his NHL career. The Penguins met the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final for the second year in a row, but where Detroit came out on top in 2008, Pittsburgh took the coveted trophy home in 2009.
“Yeah, I mean, to play [Detroit] again after losing the year before, you think you’re never going to get there again,” Crosby said. “I mean, that’s the way I was thinking.”
Headline photo: @NHL
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