Over roughly the last decade and a half, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby have headlined one of the biggest rivalries in the league and the game of hockey, as both have risen to “GOAT” status with the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins respectively.
And, as they prepare for another meeting in 2022, 17 years after both of them entered the league and continue to make their impact on the league and lead the way for their respective clubs.
“Well, I think we kind of use our experience. We still have passion to the game and obviously when you have that passion, you just want to be out there and play,” Ovechkin said on Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
From dueling hat tricks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to multiple milestones between them, both Ovechkin and Crosby have been in the spotlight for years and continue to cement their legacies while remaining at the forefront of the Capitals-Penguins rivalry.
Was rewatching the Ovechkin vs. Crosby dueling hat tricks game from '09 recently. Ovechkin was just absolutely insane..
•Played 23:31 (in regulation!)
•Attempted 19 shots
•Got 12 shots on had
•Had 8 scoring chances
•Scored 3 goals
•Was flying around the ice like a mad man pic.twitter.com/nC2Bpvhodp
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) November 25, 2020
The Great 8 took the time to reflect on the relationship between the two teams and says that he still gets excited for these rivalry showdowns.
“Obviously like every time when Caps and Pens play together, it’s lots of attention,” Ovechkin noted. “Fans go crazy. Media go nuts, so it’s pretty cool. I like the atmosphere and pressure on both teams.”
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The Feb. 1 meeting between these two teams will be a big one. It’s one of the Capitals’ final games before the NHL All-Star Break, and they are looking to start the month on the right foot after going 4-6-2 in the month of January and falling into Wild Card territory. They are looking to catch up with Pittsburgh, who sits third in the Metropolitan Division but has dropped its last three decisions.
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin continuing the rivalry with some exchanges from the bench pic.twitter.com/A8n19v5loy
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 20, 2018
Meanwhile, Ovechkin is looking to continue his climb up the NHL leaderboard and all-time goals list. The 36-year-old has 29 goals and 58 points through 45 games this season and currently sits two goals behind Leon Draisaitl and Chris Kreider for the league lead in goals. He is also eight goals shy of passing Jaromir Jagr for third on the NHL’s all-time goals list.
“Well I guess still have fun. I still love the game,” Ovechkin said back on Jan. 22. “I’m enjoying being on the ice, off the ice, spend time with this group of guys. So I think that’s the most important thing.”