WHO’S THE BEST?

The NHL knows how to hand out awards and there are plenty of them to hand out tonight in Las Vegas.

Alexander Ovechkin is considered the favorite to win his third Hart Trophy for Most Valuable Player. Sidney Crosby and Henrik Sedin are the other two finalsists.

I would be surprised if Ovechkin didn’t win, but I still believe that at least 90% of the GMs in the NHL would pick Crosby if given a choice.

Both disappeared a little too early in the playoffs and both disappeared against the same Montreal Canadiens team, so, the lustre is off both of them at least a little bit this Summer.

I will always favor Crosby because of the little things that he does, even those little things aren’t really that little.

Despite having trouble against Montreal, Crosby is still one of the best face off guys in the league and he’s so much better than Ovechkin in the defensive end of the ice.

Ovechkin is probably going to outscore Crosby every year, but I think Crosby, despite having superstar statistics, is so much more than stats.

Check out the “Big Three” video on TSN for a good look at the three finalists.

  • http://sh Karl Marx

    Bo Jackson was the best athlete that ive ever seen play any sport in my lifetime (im 40). Bo was a great baseball player (legit 5 tool player) and a great running back. If Bo stays healthy he puts every rushing record out of reach. That said nobody in their right mind would say he was better than say,,Jim Brown. If only he didn’t get hurt,,hmm..But he did,,end of story. Thats my point.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Bo Jackson was also most likely juiced, but that’s another story. I get your point. I just think you have to look beyond the stats sometimes. I’m just saying that, in my 56 years of watching sports, I have never seen a player rise above his competition and dominate the way Lemieux did in 1989. It was actually laughable. I know Gretzky has the numbers and they, too, are ridiculous. He also is from another planet. I’ll never win the argument because Gretzky will always have the stats. I know the stats. I saw them both play and I’ll never change my opinion. Lemieux was the more talented player.

  • http://sh Karl Marx

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and hockey is an afterthought. How is that inditement of soccer? If Mario played for Edmonton he would still have had back problems, cancer and a short career (compared to Gretz). How would he hold all the records? Too many ifs John. Gretz is the best of all time…You just look like more of a homer by not acknowledging the obvious.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      My point is that what’s popular is not always right and what’s right is not always popular. People like tomake fun of hockey and call it a niche sport as if that has anything to do with it’s validity as a major sport. Billions of people watch soccer. It still stinks. Lemieux scored 199 points in 1989 with Bob Errey and Rob Brown. If he had been playing with the guys Gretzky played with he would have scored 250 points. Gretzky will always have the numbers. In my mind, Lemieux will always be the more talented, dangerous player.

  • Ochotexto

    This is more proof nobody watches the NHL., just the Penguins. I’ve never heard of Sedin and listened to a SPORTS talk show this morning in which the host said he didn’t see him play this year. Do you know any Steeler fans who’ve never seen Tom Brady or Peyton Manning play ?

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Someone working in sports is often less likely to see guys on other teams because he’s always involved with the Penguins. The Sedin twins are known byu everybody who follows the NHL. NFL stars are showcased on national TV all the time. And they’re more often than not the only game in town. How often would you have seen Kurt Warner if the only way to get his games would have been by subscribing to the NFL package on a satellite system? Beyond that, what’s your point? Billions of people are watching soccer right now.

      • Ochotexto

        You know my point very well JS. The Penguins are rock stars here., the NHL and hockey just by-products. The sold out arena is made up of about 6-7000 diehard knowledgable hockey fans., the rest are idol worshippers. Nothing wrong with that but let’s not act like hockey is a major sport just yet. I think their award show was followed by the porn awards.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          The TV ratings prove you wrong. They’ve always been among the best in the NHL. I still don’t get the point that people who don’t like hockey are making when they justify their lack of interest in hockey by constantly pointing to TV ratings etc. All you need to know is that soccer is the world’s most popular sport.

  • Jason C

    Why is the media involved, why isnt it the GM”s doing the voting, it only makes sense to me. My thoughts on this are, i am kinda dissapointed Crosby didint win it, although i think Ovechkin is a great hockey player, and hes exciting to watch, but i cant stand his show boating and his attitude, where as Crosby in my opinion has a great attitude and he dont show boat. Now iam not saying this cause iam bias and a pens fan, but to he honest with you, Crosby and Ovechkin both deserved the MVP award, but i know only 1 can have it.

  • Sarcastic Sword

    Somebody else’s turn? Shame on the writers if that actually came into play….

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Writers should stay out of the story.

  • Sarcastic Sword

    43 of Sedin’s assists were secondary….How did this guy win the Hart over Sid or Ovie?

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      It was “somebody else’s” turn.

      • Mike

        I’d bet Sedin picked up most of the Western 1st place votes while Sid and Ovie split the East.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          Good call.

      • Frank

        Malkin better than Crosby? What?

        I respect and appreciate Malkin’s talent just as much as the next guy, but he is not a better hockey player than Crosby. In my opinion, the main difference between the two is that one has a very strong desire to better his overall game from year to year and the other appears to be content with what he has to bring to the table.

        Where to begin?

        Crosby is criticized for losing too many faceoffs. He comes back the next season and ends up having one of the top faceoff percentages in the league. He saw a flaw in his game, he worked on it in the offseason and he ended up bettering his overall game.

        Crosby is criticized for not scoring enough goals. He worked on his shot in the offseason and he ended up leading the league in goals and having 36 more points than Malkin. Keep in mind, he accomplished this while playing next to Kunitz and Guerin.

        Those are just two examples.

        Malkin has all the physical tools in the world to become one of the best players in the league, but up to this point in his career he has lacked one of the most important and underrated tools…desire.

        • Mike

          Malkin’s linemates were awful for the most part too. Chris Bourque, Ruslan Fedotenko, Alex Ponikarovsky. Plus Malkin was injured for part of year. Pens are EXTREMELY fortunate to have them both.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            Agreed.

    • Meathead

      I smell an East Coast bias.

      Second assists?

      Shame on the NHL for marketing just two or three of its players.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

        There’s not a GM in the league who would take Sedin over either 8 or 87.

        • Meathead

          The Chicago Black Hawks did just fine without any of them.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            Team game.

        • Frank

          My bad, he was tied (51 with Stamkos).

  • Scootermojo

    It completely befuddles me why everyone was saying Ovechkin was the favorite to be MVP this year…like Crosby he has a much better supporting cast than Sedin does in Vancouver and it looks like the voters got it right. I was actually surprised that Staal didn’t win the Selke not at all surprised that neither Crosby or Ovechkin didn’t win the Hart.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I heard today that most of Sedin’s assists were second assists. I didn’t see him play enough to make a good comparison.

  • mickey

    why is ovechlin favored? he has less goals than crosby and less points than sedin

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      He missed a lot of games.

      • blasto

        While I appreciate the little things that Crosby contributes ( he should be killing penalties as well) Ovechkin is one helluva player. He hits like a truck and is clearly the better goal scorer. Some proper coaching may motivate him in his own end..especially come playoff time. Some might prefer Crosby, some Ovechkin. I couldn’t gripe with the choice of either…
        P.S.- very, very true John. Lemieux plays with those Edmonton teams in his prime and he’d hold every scoring record in the league. There were no Warren Youngs to be found on that squad.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          I have a chapter in my book about Lemiuex. He’s the best player I have ever seen in a team sport.

    • Anthony

      The assumption is with the games ovechkin missed he would have cherrypicked or sniped (into an empty net) a few more goals then, eh?

      • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

        He is a great, great player.

  • http://sh Karl Marx

    If it is so cut and dry that Sid is the best then why all the blogging about it? Why all the debate? Stats seem to mean nothing when they don’t support your case. I heard lots of talk during the playoffs about Mike Richards being the best young leader in hockey. I know you hate the thought of that but its out there and a bunch of hockey people believe it. Mario might have been able to rise above 99 but it didn’t happen, the numbers tell us so. If Mario would have worked a little harder and taken better care of himself then maybe his body wouldnt have broke down, cancer not withstanding. 66 smoked, blew off practice, ran off coach after coach and didnt work hard enough to keep in shape. 66 has nobody to blame but himself for playn 2nd fiddle to 99. The Mick could have been the best player in MLB history but it didnt happen. Its an age old story,,you get out what you put in.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Lemieux could have smoked WHILE he was playing with that Edmonton team and put up 200 points. Who said anything was cut and dry. If you polled the GMs, I’d be willing to bet that they would overwhelmingly take Crosby over Ovechkin.

      • Scootermojo

        it’s all moot because neither Gretzky nor Lemieux is the best player in NHL history…Bobby Orr is hands down. Gretzky was the smartest and Lemieux was the most naturally talented but neither of them had the all around game that Orr did and he was exceptional in all facets of the game unlike 99 or 66.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          Nobody is going to argue with you if you declare Bobby Orr the best player ever. Lemieux is the best player I’ve ever seen in any tea,m sport. I didn’t see nearly enough of Orr.

  • Mike

    The GM’s should vote on awards, not the media. Except Glen Sather who obviously has no idea how to run a hockey team.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I agree. The media should get out of the awards and Hall of Fame businesses. They shouldn’t become part of the story.

  • http://sh Karl Marx

    People are so spoiled around here when it comes to hockey talent they can’t see past their black and gold glasses. That includes you JS. Pens fans have been lucky to get some of the best players to ever play hockey the last 25 years. Are they happy? No..Cry about Crosby getting booed. Cry that the Canadian public doesn’t embrace him..Boo, hoo, hoo. Mario was 2nd best to the great one and Crosby and will finish 2nd best to the great 8. Quit cryn already 2nd best is pretty good. Crosby isn’t even the best player on his own team. Even if I went along with the idea that 87 was better than 71,,it ain’t by much.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Wrong.

    • Adam

      Way to complete miss the point

      • Chuck

        Wrong on so many levels…