Role Reversal -

Role Reversal


Remember back in the days when the differences between Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby were as clear as the differences between communism and democracy? When only Crosby “seems to have grasped that intangible called victory while Ovechkin understands the spectacular far more than the simple”. When “If they have been first among equals, they are not that anymore”? When “Ovechkin, the older of the two, appears less mature than Crosby, less grounded, more individualistic.”

Funny that.

Sidney Crosby asked, declines offer to go to World Championships

Alex Ovechkin leads Russia past Slovakia at hockey worlds

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Role Reversal

  1. Never underestimate the human compulsion and capacity for inventing stories that explain essentially random outcomes. Or for forgetting stories when subsequent events show they are nonsense.

    Hey, somebody should write a book about that! Oh yeah …

    (Apologies for the absolutely shameless self-promotion, Andrew, but an author's got to do what an author's got to do. Right?)

    • inventing stories that explain essentially random outcomes. Or for forgetting stories when subsequent events show they are nonsense.

      Yes, that's how I see it. Both Crosby and Ovechkin are good people and they have wildly different personalities.

      They both play hard and they both play well. They both play for their countries most of the time, and they both make their teams much better, they both make great plays, but they are both single players in a team sport where 19 players get ice time in a given game.

  2. Somehow I don't think it will hurt Sid's reputation too much to not play in a tournament no one in Canada cares about.

    • Certainly not as much as his disappearing act against the Habs.

      • Yeah, because that Crosby kid really hasn't accomplished anything of note this year.

      • You want to talk about disappearing acts and chokes as a Caps fan? That's real rich buddy.

        • I take issue with the statement that "no one in Canada" cares about the World Championships. Yes, of course the Stanley Cup playoffs completely overshadow it. But that's different from no one caring about it. I think reasonable people who know about the event do realize, though, that the timing of the WCs means that it is inevitably a Eurocentric affair, designed by Euros, for Euros to accommodate their timetable in their home leagues, etc. So it's a bit of a pain in the butt for Canadians to field a team and all that. That plays in to why some of our players, at the end of a long, hard NHL season, decline to participate. But bear in mind that Crosby has attended before, earlier in his career, and did us proud there.

  3. "Remember back in the days when the differences between Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby were as clear as the differences …. "

    I hate this kind of reporting. We are getting a lot of it with hockey at the moment, and lots about LeBron over the next few days, and I also follow soccer so there are lots of these kind of stories with country's picking their world cup teams at the moment.

    It is interesting, this post has got me thinking about sports and which ones can be dominated by one player and which sports can't. One player can bring up/down team in hockey and basketball I believe but I don't think one player makes that huge of difference in American football or baseball or soccer.

  4. To be somewhat fair, the world championships have always meant more to Europeans than Canadians. It's basically their Stanley Cup, and our tournament for Stanly Cup playoff rejects. And, after Ovechkin's showing at the Olympics, he obviously has something to prove. Sid kind of doesn't. Kind of.

    In fact, I've taken a look at some of the lineups at this year's tournament. Christian Hanson, basically a Leafs minor leaguer, is on the US squad. Beauchemin is on the Canadian squad. I mean, there are a LOT of holdouts this time, which is not a surprise during an Olympic year.

    • In fact, now that I think about it, it makes me wonder why they even have a "World Championships" during a year that they have the Olympics. Isn't the latter the true world championships? What better hockey tournament on Earth is there? But, I know, it's all about continuity and dollars, which aren't bad things. But it does make for a relatively bad tournament every four years, don't you think?

      • The other, related thing that's clearly going on at this year's WCs is that different teams are taking different approaches to it. The Russians are clearly out to win this sucker at all costs — because they understandably saw their Olympic performance as a humiliation and a disgrace. Obviously, we're coming from a totally different place. It appears that Canada and the US are both taking a different approach from the Russians and are going with youth in a big way. I find our team interesting, because it's interesting to see these young guys from relatively obscure teams (e.g., Kris Russell from Columbus) that I almost never get to see. But obviously this is a bit of a "development program" approach by Hockey Canada.

  5. What language do I need to learn to understand this article? Hockeynese?

  6. Crosby did Canada right by allowing the Habs to advance. He's served us plenty this season.

  7. I agree with Dennis_F. The Olympics make for an already long year…

  8. Yeah, since Team Russia fizzled at the Olympics, and Wash Caps fizzled in the first round of the playoffs, Ovechkin “leads team” at the hockey equivalent of the NIT consolation tournament where Canada has iced a team of rookie players and no real veteran star talent, as has most of the other Countries. Russia may win, since they seem to be the only country who takes the Worlds tournament seriously. Certainly no one in the United States or Canada did, does or cares. Perhaps playing against substandard teams, Ovechkin can pad his goal scoring….since he couldn't score against real goalies in the NHL (5 empty netters).

    • Ovechkin's washington lost to the same team Sid's Pittsburg did. Both Sid and Ovechkin are rising stars- we have either put one or both on a pedistall over others. The NHL is full of great young Stars- Look at Chicago Toews, Kane, Sharpe, Seabrook, Keith- Look at Vancouver with the twins and the list goes on. YOu earn Superstar status it should not be given to you. While I would not rake Sid over the coals for not going- I think he should- it should be a honour to play for one's country- Look at Captain Canada (Smyth), he alwasy answers the bell when his country calls and we should not be negative to Russians or any others who gladly represent their country. Sorry Sid but you should have gone unless you were hurt

      • I agree though that the Russians look ridiculously stacked with firepower at this thing compared to everyone else.

      • Smyth had not played in the playoffs, two stanley cup finals nor the olympics. He had plenty of time to go. Funny, you mention that Sid is marketed over other players, he is also singled out for criticism over other players by you and others. I did not see Iginla, Nash, E. Staal, J. Staal, St. Louis,bergern, Savard, etc etc. at the Worlds either, and they either did not make the playoffs, or exited when or before Sid did. So much for your "you earn superstar status" Sid has more than earned such status with his stanley cup, goal medal, rocket richard and mvp votes. Clearly you think so to, and feel his status should not merit praise, but somehow allows you to hold him to a higher standard and call him out without calling out the hundreds of other canadian and american players who skipped the worlds. And remember, Malkin went, but he an Gonch had an early exit (and rest) during the Olympics.

  9. What an ignorant story

    • Totally agree.

  10. Isn't Crosby injured?

  11. This doesn't mean or prove anything. Sid has had a long two years of A LOT of hockey, two finals, olympics, etc. If he chooses not to accept this, it's his choice and right. I'm sure if you played like he did, you'd want a break.

  12. I'm sure so many Russian players choosing to play at the World Championships has nothing to do with the 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Russia or the reaction of the Russian government to their performance at the 2010 Olympics.

  13. It is interesting because Crosby supporters enjoyed the habs beating Washington it was a way of defending their beleif that Crosby was better. But now Crosby and the Pens were beat by the habs.

    If Crosby was not injured then he should have gone- it should be an honour to play for your country.

    Crosby is a great player and While Crosby scored the OT goal in the olympics- the rest of the time his play left something to be desired and in the playoffs he spent way too much time whinning to the refs- shut up and play the game- YOu have to earn superstar status and too many of us just want to crown him . If he just plays hockey and cuts out the whinning and diving he will become the superstar we want.

    • Intersting…according to, Washington Capitals and Dallas tied for the 2009-2010 season MOST DIVING PENALTIES. Ovechkin had more diving calls than any Pen player. Hmmm.

      • No arguement on your stat justthefacts- but that is simply the times a players get caught- because we have crowned Sid the best he gets away with it. Even Don Cherry and other Hockey announcer pointed out how many times penguin players (especially Sid) went down far to easy or emblished- interesting not one of those pointed out by the announcer was called a penalty, these are also announcers that tend to sing Sid's praises -sorry but stats are not always just the facts. Sorry but no stats for whinning atleast not yet but I am sure Sid would be world class leader

        • If you want to see world class whining, check out the last two mintues of the Worlds gold medal game. Since the Russians were losing, Ovechkin feels a penalty should have been called for a highstick, and he is gesturing and whining to the Ref worse than any Penguin.

          And regards the Dives, trying to follow your logic, you seem to be saying that it is ok for Ovechkin to dive, and acknowledging that Ovechkin dives, but are upset because Ovechkin gets called for it more, because Sid has more skill at selling penalties? Loser argument…and FYI….anytime you are quoting Don Cherry as your "expert" I know you have a weak argument. The USA feed showed Cherry's examples, then showed the detail before and after the plays to show that Cherry had taken the plays out of context. Then the USA feed showed the Habs players "diving" and talked about all the Canadian press whining about calls as being ridiculous, and the Canadian press whining about a captain talking to the refs as being ridiculous.

  14. Crosby shouldn't be tarred and feathered for not going but his no-show is hardly a feather in his cap.

  15. Oh, and back to more important Hockey topics, the Black Hawks will win the Stanley Cup.

  16. Gretzky and Co. blew a few big ones before (and early) in their dynasty – it is all part of the game GO HAWKS!

  17. Ovechkin had twice as many points and five times as many goals as Crosby against the same defense and the same goalie, its interesting that after the Capitals were knocked out Ovechkin was dumbed on despite going 5g 5a and +5 in the series, what more was he supposed to do, get in net and get a shutout as well?

    Why arent we hearing anything about Crosby's pathetic performance? He was exposed in this series, he did nothing in last year's SC finals against the wings either and now he doesnt even play for his country.

    • Actually 4 of Ovie's points were against Price…not Halak and I'm sure we all the know the difference. So technically they both got the same points except Sid was clearly a bigger target than Ovie for the Habs defense so Sid didn't do that bad after all. Secondly do you want to go into comparing the quality of Sid's wingers to Ovie's? That explains your plus and minus. There's no doubt that Sid didn't play as well as he should have against the Habs but bud he wasn't pathetic.

  18. Are people seriously so stupid that they point out how much hockey he's played over the last THREE YEARS and assume he's tired? They get plenty of time to rest so these games do not accumilate fatigue, I could do 100,000 pushups over 3 years and would be a fool to excuse myself from any further physical labour tomorrow.

    Oh I forgot he's excused from all critisizm because he was at the right place at the right time and happened to tip and iginla shot past Millar, a shot Millar should have easily stopped. Please.

    As for the grandstanding and the Canada 'doesnt care' about this tournament, last WCships Russia had a total of TWO nhl players on its roster (compared to Canada's 22) and still beat Canada in the finals. Olympics are great, but the WCships is still the WCships, dont look for excuses once the team loses you sound like a jealous kid 'ya well… i could beat him… if i actually wanted to!' Its rather pathetic.

    • I agree, the WCs are the WCs. And if you look at Canada's performance at the WCs over the past few years, it's pretty damn good. E.g., since 2003, we've had the best overall record of any country: 3 gold, 3 silver, only out of the medals once. Considering how inconvenient it is for our players in terms of timing, travel, the relative lack of glory they get for it, I think our record is commendable.

  19. "Tip Iginla's shot past Miller?" What game did you watch? Crosby beat his man off of the wall, SCREAMED so loud it could be heard on broadcast feed (check out the youtube) for the puck, Iginla pushed it toward crosby, which Crosby then had to reached his stick back for, and quick shot it on a sniper shot into the net. You clearly do not like Crosby, but at least give credit where it is due, and avoid looking delusional. Unless you watched a different game than the 35million other viewers.