Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby will play against each other for the 50th time on Super Bowl Sunday. The two future Hockey Hall of Famers have always had success when playing each other. In their 49 previous matchups, Crosby has 1.43 points per game while Ovechkin holds the goal-scoring edge with 30 tallies.
Ahead of the matchup, Crosby was asked about his relationship with Ovechkin and said the two aren’t “best buddies.”
Crosby on relationship w/ Ovechkin: "It's cordial and respectful. We're not best buddies, but at the same time, I think I respect the way he plays and what he's doing. Can relate to the pressure and expectations that come with the position that he was in coming into the League."
— Wes Crosby (@OtherNHLCrosby) February 1, 2020
Earlier in the season, Crosby added that his relationship with Ovechkin is “pretty much on the ice.”
“I mean we see each other at different events and stuff, you know awards and things like that,” Crosby said. “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.”
Beyond getting in shoving matches during games, the ultimate low point between the two came in December 2018 months after the Capitals defeated the Penguins the year before and went on to win their first Stanley Cup. Tom Wilson beat up Jamie Oleksiak in a fight and Ovechkin challenged Crosby to one himself.
According to Pierre McGuire, the interaction went like this.
Crosby, to Ovechkin: Why don’t you fight him?
Ovechkin, to Crosby: Why don’t you fight me? Stop talking.
In March 2019, things got tense again when Crosby “congratulated” Ovechkin on scoring his 1,200th career point while the Russian machine had him in a headlock at center ice.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 13, 2019
In the past, Ovechkin has jokingly played up the pair’s rivalry by taking off a young child’s Crosby beanie before taking a picture with him. Ovechkin also said sarcastically that the two were “best friends” in an interview at the LA King’s All-Star Game.
“It’s an easy storyline, right?” Crosby said. “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.”
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