There aren’t many Sidney Crosby fans in the Detroit area. Any Red Wings fan who sat through the 2009 Stanley Cup celebration can tell you why.
Still, it’s undeniable that Sid the Kid has grown up and turned into a remarkable two-way center and leader. He’s won the respect of many of his critics, even if it’s begrudging.
It’s hard to feel the white hot hate for Crosby in 2017.
But it’s also hard not to get sick of the hype – still being pushed on hockey fans every time you turn around.
All one needs to do is visit NHL.com, where the lead headline reads “Crosby solidifies place among greatest ever.”
Crosby probably did that with his third Stanley Cup. Fair point.
But isn’t the same also true of Evgeny Malkin?
These two have put up virtually the same stat line in the last two playoffs. And over the three cup runs, the edge probably goes to Malkin
Season Crosby Malkin
2008-09 15-16-31 14-22-36
2015-16 6-13-19 6-12-18
2016-17 8-19-27 10-18-28
It’s true that Crosby plays more minutes and is better on faceoffs. At the same time, Malkin is more physical and tougher.
Over the course of their playoff careers, their stats are virtually identical.
Crosby 148 games 57-107-164
Malkin 149 games 58-99-157
Crosby has 2 Conn Smythe Trophies (Both of which were debatable). Malkin has one.
In the regular season, Crosby does have a significant lead in goals (382 to 328) assists (645-504) and points (1,027 to 832), but Malkin has also played 76 fewer games.
But how does one watch these NHL playoffs without understanding that Malkin was every bit as good as Crosby. That without Malkin, there is no cup. Not one.
Malkin and Crosby are Detroit’s Yzerman and Fedorov or Datsyuk and Zetterberg. Those debates still rage on amongst Detroit fans.
So fine, let’s give the Crosby he is due. But these clarions should be sounding for Malkin, too.
For Red Wings fans who saw the NHL ignore their superstars trying to push Crosby as the face of the league, this is nothing new. Yet it still sucks.