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Crosby scores game-winner, Ovechkin doesn't



In a truly crushing development for my Web traffic, Mike Milbury was no longer on set after the Russians lost to the Slovaks early Friday morning, having retreated to his Crosby man-cave to celebrate the day that was. But give Milbury his due; the Golden Boy nailed the game-winner in the shootout (going 1-for-2), and while Ovechkin scored a shootout goal of his own, he went 1-for-3 and the Russians lost.

The whole Ovechkin-Crosby thing is so often overly simplistic and absurdly reductive, but Thursday night made it pretty easy; one guy stamped his foot on a pesky underdog, and the other couldn't quite do so.

Herewith, a few notes:

* Milbury, during his post-game remarks on Canada's win:

"When you're trying to slay the dragon, everything has to go just right. In the end, reality showed up in the form of Sidney Crosby...[Jonas Hiller] was immense."

"He was unbelievable," Jeremy Roenick agreed. "And I said before, he can steal a game by himself, and he almost stole this one...."

"But he couldn't do it on the line," Milbury said. "Crosby they go back to him a second time, and that was sort of a gutsy move. There's a lot of stars on that bench, and [Mike Babcock] opted to go back to Sidney Crosby and there's an obvious reason why. This guy's totally composed, snapped a shot. I mean, he's been working on his shot for a year, and that one, he put every ounce of effort into it."


* It would appear that the Canadian crowd enjoyed Slovakia's victory.




* It would also appear that Alex Ovechkin was having some issues with the ice on his final two shootout attempts, as seen at the very top, and again right here.

"Ovechkin makes the move and the puck jumps up...the ice is terrible," narrated one of the TSN announcers during his second attempt.

"Actually, I had the goalie beaten but the puck just jumped on me," Ovechkin told reporters about his third attempt. "If it didn't, I would've scored. Malkin also had a jumping-puck problem."

The TSN crew suggested that the ice was worse on the end Ovechkin was shooting on in the shootout.




* In the interests of a pale stab at fairness, here's Milbury talking about Ovechkin earlier in the day, while showing highlights of Russia's win over Latvia. Quotes provided by the CapsBlog.

"Alex Ovechkin, no better scorer in this tournament or on the planet right now, will take advantage of a turnover here against Latvia," Milbury said. "Watch him cruise back into the slot, the release is awesome, it's almost on automatic. And again a turnover by Latvia in the neutral zone when they had actually closed the gap on the Russians, and this was all Ovechkin needed to really seal the deal and put Russia too far ahead for Latvia to even think about the comeback."

Positivity!




* Before at least his first and second attempts, Ovechkin did the Jordan thing again. Apparently he often does this during shootouts.

As for why he took three shootout attempts, "Because Ovechkin was one of the few who really fought. Besides it was his wish," the Russian coach said.

* And in case you're sick of hearing about Crosby vs. Ovechkin, well, too bad. Check out the latest from S.L. Price at SI.com:

Crosby, of course, is for many Ovechkin's polar opposite, not merely a polite, clean-cut, nice guy, but the apotheosis of Canadian hockey values like strength, toughness, selflessness. It's often said that Crosby and Ovechkin are hockey's Magic and Bird, but for the moment, the rivalry more resembles that of NBA centers Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, the aficianado's player who wins titles versus the outsized star with near-cartoonish gifts who makes the game accessible to the most casual viewer.

"Crosby plays the game the way it should be played," says Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry.

Ovechkin? He's tough, Cherry says, but needs to take responsibility for his head-hunting by fighting. That, too, it seems, is the Canadian Way.

"Ovechkin's like a runaway horse; he's a semi-renegade," Cherry says. "He has no fear of anybody. But again, he doesn't drop the gloves. He doesn't back up what he does. I've said it before: There's some guys in the league just waiting for him to get in those trolley tracks and then there'll be no mercy."

Maybe. But for Crosby, anyway, Ovechkin leaves him more puzzled than angry. As with Sinden, when Crosby talks about the Russian it's as if he's wrestling with an idea that is just beyond his ken. He giggles as if talking about a particularly vexing child.

Ah, Don Cherry. Thank you for being you.




* Zdeno Chara is a large, large man.

* The (not-new) quotes from Ovechkin's mom recently published on Russian Machine Never Breaks are worth a read. Especially these:

"My Son never complained - even during his childhood. One game when he lost his tooth, my husband and I saw it on TV in Washington. We were very upset. Sasha has such a beautiful smile! Even now, with gap, it's still very fascinating. That's OK, it will heal soon."

"We were not told when Alex broke his nose playing for Dynamo. It didn't heal very - it's the fault of people who were near him after the first fracture. They had to set the nose immediately - using tampon or anything else around. "

Have at it, Pittsburgh.

(Photos via Getty and Reuters.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 19, 2010; 1:34 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Comments

", but the apotheosis of Canadian hockey values like strength, toughness, selflessness."

AHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I haven't been able to see any of Team Russia's games but based on the picture I'm just wondering if Team Russia is using Arabic letters on the back of their jerseys rather than Cyrillic? Anyone know why? I've seen people at games with Ovechkin in Cyrillic jerseys so I'm just wondering.

Posted by: LionelMandrake | February 19, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Love the OV-Charo photo--these guys get it.

Posted by: jhershb | February 19, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ovie has never been a good shootout scorer. Great Crosby can score a shootout with no defenders and one on one. Ovie has proved in game situation to get game winners in regularation time and ot

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | February 19, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Crosby only scored because the Milbury-led coalition of the willing ensured that Bettman rigged the competition so that he could score the game-winning SO goal.

Posted by: Section117 | February 19, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I just think the story is weird, and almost intentionally designed to drum-up comments.

Isn't a more accurate title "Ovechkin and Crosby score the exact same number of Shootout Goals, but one of them gets a better performance out of the rest of his team and Goalie?"

It's not really OV's fault that Bryzgalov couldn't stop the puck in the SO :)

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Some things are being left unsaid here.

1)Milbury chastised team USA for only beating Switzerland 3-1 but was much more apologetic about the Canadian effort.

2)Canada was playing Switzerland. They are not even remotely close to being a medal contender. Canada should never have let the game get that far. It was not a good effort from Canada to include Crosby.

3)Russia was playing Slovakia. Slovakia has many NHL players and was the sleeper pick of most hockey experts to get a medal.

4)Slovakia defeating Russia is nothing more than a minor upset and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. If Canada had lost to Switzerland then it would have been a monumental upset. As it turned out Canada won a skills competition not the hockey game which ended in a tie.

Posted by: croftonpost | February 19, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Gee whiz Steinberg, just man up and do it - write Mike Milbury and ask for his panties. Obsession. Sheesh.

Posted by: popopo | February 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Bad headline...now pens fans will come on here and start talking about how crosby's better than ovie... did you really have to make that the headline?

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that Don. I guess he totally missed that game where matt bradley kepy Alex from breaking his hand after Alex tried to fight one of the panthers.

Or that game where Alex checked Hal Gill INTO THE GOAL from 4 feet out

Or the times Alex has put guys THROUGH the glass

Or...

You get my point. Canada almost lost to a vastly inferior opponent while Russia did lose to an opponent much close to them than Canada's opponent. Both medal-contenders sucked. One just had worse luck.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 19, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Can we just acknowledge how lame the hockey shootout rules are. Granted shootouts are a sad way to end the game, but in a soccer shootout everyone has to take a turn. In hockey after the first three Crosby could have taken the next 20 attempts if needed, which rather diminishes the whole "team sport" aspect.

Posted by: M__N | February 19, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that Price was able to get a quote of any kind out of Cherry, what with Mike Milbury's dick being in it 24/7.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | February 19, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised that S.L. Price was able to get any kind of quote out of Don Cherry, what with Mike Milbury's dick being inside all the time.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | February 19, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg seems to be in a grumpy kind of mood...

Posted by: RoachVA141 | February 19, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"Bad headline...now pens fans will come on here and start talking about how crosby's better than ovie... did you really have to make that the headline?"

---

I love Steinz and the Bog. Best thing on the whole WaPo site, IMHO. But it's pretty obvious that this article was trolling for clicks. The title is pro-Crosby, and proceeds to document the reactions of Media Public Enemies #1 and #2 in Milbury and Grapes.

Keep up the good work, Dan :)

Posted by: VTDuffman | February 19, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

", but the apotheosis of Canadian hockey values like strength, toughness, selflessness." Right... which is why Crosby is always whining to the refs. It's his toughness. I'd like to see Crosby try and take on Chara like Ovie did, he's too much of a wuss.

Posted by: futbolclif | February 19, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I was clueless on this rule that allows the same shooter to shoot twice in a shootout before the entire roster is had the opportunity. I think it's a stupid rule to allow Crosby or Ovechkin to shoot two times.

Posted by: blanknerc | February 19, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

croftonpost I don't get your first point. It's obvious Milbury thinks the US team is better than the Canadian team and should have beaten the Swiss by a bigger margin. What's the issue here? The US and the Russians are probably better than Canada. Everyone thinks that Canada should win with ease but they are the underdog in this competition and if they do win the gold it will be a great accomplishment. And the country will go wild!

Posted by: KPaige1 | February 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

To add - I absolutely hate the shootout. Disgraceful way to end a team sport game.

Posted by: KPaige1 | February 19, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Agree that it's a stupid rule to allow the same shooters to shoot again... don't know why the rule is different than in the NHL. They shouldn't be allowed to shoot twice.

KPaige1: As much as I hate shootouts, it kinda is necessary.. or else games could go on too long.

Posted by: rachel216 | February 19, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

"Ovie has never been a good shootout scorer."

He's improved a ton from, last season. You can tell he worked on that in the offseason.

Honestly, I could care less about Olympic hockey anyway.

I just want to watch the Caps, this whole interruption sucks.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 19, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Milbury doesn't think Ovechkin is a bad player. He's never said that. He says the exact opposite, he says how great Ovi is. When he compares Ovi to Crosby he thinks Crosby is better for the reasons he states. That doesn't mean he thinks Ovechkin is terrible, it just means he thinks Crosby is a better all around player.

Posted by: rderr27 | February 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The Pens and Caps are both lucky to have a player like Crosby and Ovie.

the other NHL teams would kill to have either one of them.

The Canadians would be a lot more positive about Ovie if he was playing on a Canadian team.

Posted by: Pensfans | February 19, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"the apotheosis of Canadian hockey values like strength, toughness, selflessness. "

So where exactly does whining to the refs about the number of hats being thrown onto the ice in celebration of a hat trick fall into that???

Posted by: CapsNut | February 19, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big Caps & Ovie fan. I think Crosby is a f*g. But he has a Cup and we don't so everything else is window dressing.

Posted by: jwm1974 | February 19, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

croftonpost I don't get your first point. It's obvious Milbury thinks the US team is better than the Canadian team and should have beaten the Swiss by a bigger margin. What's the issue here? The US and the Russians are probably better than Canada. Everyone thinks that Canada should win with ease but they are the underdog in this competition and if they do win the gold it will be a great accomplishment. And the country will go wild!

Posted by: KPaige1 | February 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Huh? He was pointing out that Milbury was denigrating the US for not defeating Switzerland easily and he was not so critical on Canada for not defeating Switzerland easily. Milbury clearly thinks the Canadians are better than the US. I don't know what you have been listening to. Lastly, Canada is no underdog. They are the prohibitive favorite.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | February 19, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

If Bryzgalov stops all three shootout attempts like Brodeur then Ovechkin has the game winner as well. Crosby didn't come up any more clutch than Ovechkin did. But Brodeur sure did.

Posted by: ouvan59 | February 19, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Crosby goal with an asterik since it was a shoutout goal not in regular time. and fact he got a 2nd chance but if this was NHL rules he would have missed his first chance and thats it

Posted by: cjdwolfpack | February 19, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Slovakia is a much better team than Switzerland. Not even close. Their first 5 can stand next to anyone in the tournament. Canada has looked bad in 2 straight against soft opponents. Russia looked bad last night against a good team, and still took it to a shootout. And if your really keeping score, Crosby missed his first one, OV hit his. Russian coach should not have put him out there for 2 more. and Morozov? (team captain, whatever his name is) was a bad choice for the first shot, when you consider the talent that sits on that bench.

Posted by: bobnowell | February 19, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

But the Canadian media will continue to vaunt every move Crosby makes into divine status, in hopes it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by: bobnowell | February 19, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@CapsNut
>>"the apotheosis of Canadian hockey values like strength, toughness, selflessness. "

So where exactly does whining to the refs about the number of hats being thrown onto the ice in celebration of a hat trick fall into that???

Oh, come on. It's right after "punching an opponent in the nads, from behind, while he's fighting someone else"
and just before "jumping a guy who's got his head down on the face-off dot".

Posted by: redlineblue | February 19, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

croftonpost I don't get your first point. It's obvious Milbury thinks the US team is better than the Canadian team and should have beaten the Swiss by a bigger margin. What's the issue here? The US and the Russians are probably better than Canada. Everyone thinks that Canada should win with ease but they are the underdog in this competition and if they do win the gold it will be a great accomplishment. And the country will go wild!

Posted by: KPaige1 | February 19, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Huh? He was pointing out that Milbury was denigrating the US for not defeating Switzerland easily and he was not so critical on Canada for not defeating Switzerland easily. Milbury clearly thinks the Canadians are better than the US. I don't know what you have been listening to. Lastly, Canada is no underdog. They are the prohibitive favorite.


Posted by: Gambrills4 | February 19, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Gambrills4- You're wrong. The Canadian team is NOT the favorite - did you see how they played? You want to build them up so that when the US or Russia beats them you can go all crazy and insult our Canadian neighbors but the bottom line is that the Canadian team cannot be considered the favorites this year.

I know their country thinks they should win, and really, if they do it'll be crazy and great for them but they really are the underdogs (Canadian juniors and under 16's both lost to the US) It's not their year.

Posted by: KPaige1 | February 20, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

KPaige, Canada IS the favorite. Up with them are Russia and Sweden, but Canada has been talked about as gold medal contenders for months now.

And how does Crosby have strength or toughness? This is the player who, last season, was voted as the biggest whiner in the NHL - BY THE PLAYERS. Sure, he has skills, but that quote was ridiculous.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The games are in Canada so their media is gonna be riding Crosby's crotch and bust OV's chops every chance they can. They know OV is great and a real threat to their boy wonder, if he wasn't he would not get all the attention and remarks he gets. Can you say "Bitter, party of one"

Canada has been pretty classless in this whole event when it comes to their media and fans.
At this point I could care less who wins the gold as long as it is not Canada.

And please stop with the whole Crosby has a cup and OV doesn't it is so friggin childish. Last time I looked the Pens won the cup as a whole team not just Crosby winning the cup. If he was such the reason they won the cup then how come the Conn Symth ie MVP was won by Malkin?

Posted by: jotay131 | February 20, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Um...Ovechkin has fought twice since he's been in the NHL (why can't anyone acknowledge this?), and earlier this season he dropped the gloves and took off his helmet with the intent of fighting a very tough, experienced fighter in Steve Downie.

What has Crosby done? He fights with a visor on, he jumps guys when they have their heads down to take faceoffs, and he punches guys from behind (in the nads!!) while they're tied up with his teammates. Sorry, that's not the Canadian way...

Posted by: Hatfield223 | February 20, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Ovechkin does fight. If the Canadians were not so butthurt that Ovy is cleary the better player of the two they would know that. Cherry is a bitter old man that comes off as a clown.

Crosby is pretty good at the one on one against the goalie though! I guess you have to celebrate that when you suck most of the rest of the game. :-( Poor Canadians.

Posted by: Mike4169 | February 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

LOL - I thought the Baltimore sports writers who feed the paranoia of Ravens fans were funny when they whine about the Steelers, but the Crosby obsession on this blog takes the kvetching to new heights. At least Mr. Steinberg is not serious about what he posts and is just looking for page hits (I hope).

Posted by: Duke76 | February 20, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"LOL - I thought the Baltimore sports writers who feed the paranoia of Ravens fans were funny when they whine about the Steelers, but the Crosby obsession on this blog takes the kvetching to new heights. At least Mr. Steinberg is not serious about what he posts and is just looking for page hits (I hope)."

Yeah it's us obsessing. That's why you admit trolling other teams papers..... AMIRIGHT

Pittsburgh fans lol. Gotta love em.

Posted by: Mike4169 | February 20, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Mike 4169

With regard to trolling, I was invited to comment :) - See "Have at it, Pittsburgh" at the end of the Mr. Steinberg's post

Sorry to have crashed the party; it won't hapend again

Love back at ya :)

Posted by: Duke76 | February 20, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I just really don't care anymore what the worst general manager in any sport of all time has to say.....

Posted by: jbanks979 | February 21, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

KPaige, Canada IS the favorite. Up with them are Russia and Sweden, but Canada has been talked about as gold medal contenders for months now.

And how does Crosby have strength or toughness? This is the player who, last season, was voted as the biggest whiner in the NHL - BY THE PLAYERS. Sure, he has skills, but that quote was ridiculous.

Posted by: timmyv38 | February 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

timmyv38 - I win! Canada has NEVER been the favorite to win. Whenever they play people go on and on about them but they were not the favorites, are not the favorites. It's pretty pathetic to say they are just so you can feel good that you beat them. Please, they were NEVER the favorites. It's just ridiculous - do you know anything about hockey?!?

Posted by: KPaige1 | February 21, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Ok Duke76. I am sure the Baltimore paper asked the same thing.

I hope you do realize Steinberg was calling you predictable and not actually supporting you.

Posted by: Mike4169 | February 22, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Forgot to mention... I do not mean go away. All sports talk is good sports talk even if it's from blind Pittsburgh fans! ;-)

Posted by: Mike4169 | February 22, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Ovechkin's a great player, but so is Crosby. Maybe Crosby did whine too much when he started in the league, but I'd like to see how many punk-ass Caps fans could've handled the pressure of instantly being charged with being the face of the league and singlehandedly saving the sport. At least Crosby has matured in the last few years, whereas Ovechkin has regressed...taking run after run at defenseless people and then jumping behind his teammates when, God forbid, someone actually stands up to him.

The fact that Caps fans worry so much about what Crosby and the Penguins do when they're not playing them just proves what a pathetic, loser-ass sports town DC is. Perhaps if you and your teams spent more time worrying about what you needed to do to up your game, instead of hating on every other player and team that has success, you might win something every now and then. Instead, you'll just keep jumping bandwagon to bandwagon, trading your fresh new Ovechkin jersey for some Washington Kastles or DC Divas gear the first time you catch wind of them possibly making the playoffs. Where were all of you hardcore Caps fans 3 years ago when I went to game after game at the Verizon Center and saw maybe 5-6,000 fans there total? That's right, you were dry-humping the Wizards to death...until, of course, they started losing their lustre. Literally the day after the Caps won the Cupcake Division and clinched a spot in the 2007-2008 playoffs, the town was flooded with people "rockin' the red," despite the fact that most of them couldn't name 4 players on the team.

Stay classy, DC.

Posted by: rjmst80 | February 24, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

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