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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Ovechkin on Crosby: "He's not my friend"

By Dan Steinberg

(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)


CBC's Winter Classic game-day feature on Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin involved separate one-on-one interviews with the two stars, in which they were asked about each other. The piece was framed in the Magic-Bird way, as in, will these guys ever consider themselves friends. It would seem not.

"That's pretty hard with the intensity, the rivalry, and the way it's built up," Crosby said.

"I respect him like a player, like a person, but he's not my friend," Ovechkin said. "It is what it is. We play for different teams and different cities. So me and him never gonna text each other right now, heyyy buddy, what's up, what's going on, what were you doing last night?....Maybe in the future, I don't know, in 10, 15 years, when we're gonna stop playing hockey, we'll just call each other, open a beer and say hey, what a great life we have."

Ovechkin was also asked about the impression that Crosby has passed him by and gone to some higher level of hockey this season, while his own scoring pace has regressed.

"Some people say hey, what's wrong with you, why you don't play well, look at Sidney Crosby, he's on top of everybody," Ovechkin said. "I don't listen to people. I listen to only myself and people who around me. It's a moment. And everything can change....He's great hockey player. I respect everything what he did. He won Stanley Cup, he won Olympic gold medal, he won almost everything. He's one of the best."

And Ovechkin was also asked about the biggest changes he's seen in himself since arriving in D.C.

"I broke my nose and I lost my tooth," he said. "Same young guy. Same young Alex Ovechkin."

By Dan Steinberg  | January 3, 2011; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  Caps, Media  
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Comments

Russian Machine Never Break.

Posted by: SavedByZero | January 3, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Russian Machine Needs Jump Start.

Posted by: RuskiSi | January 3, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Just like Crosby upped his skills by working diligently on his shooting, Alex can do the same by working on his passing.

Hockey is similar to basketball in numerous ways...if 2-3 guys come around you, it represents a great opportunity to break down the opposing team and make them pay by quickly passing to open teamates.

If Alex raises the level of his passing a notch, then teams might stop sending 2-3 every time he touches the puck... Something for him and the team to think about if they haven't already.

Posted by: driverdesign | January 3, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Overratedchkin spent too much summertime carousing and kegging, and now he is paying for it. He can't go up the middle, and he is ineffective going wide. The Bottle Rocket has come down to earth.

Posted by: Ron16 | January 3, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Comments here are pretty funny and way off the mark. Work on passing? Check out 8's assist numbers. He's become an excellent passer. Jump Start? He's jump started. Had that bogus washed off goal counted on Saturday that would be 3 goals in his last 3 games. What he needs to do...and Tarik hinted at it, is to change his attack. I've noticed it. When he entered the league he drove to the goal all the time. Then when he scored 65 goals, he had amazing success cutting that drive short, moving to the center of the zone and firing wrist shots through defensemen. Well, it's time to go back to driving the net. That's how he's going to create more space for himself. Other guys on his line also need to bury the opportunities they get from the defensive over-emphasis on 8. Knuble doesn't belong on that line for the simple reason he can't skate with 8 and 19. If you ask me, 22 spending a vast majority of time on 8's line is a big reason other teams can send 3 guys at him. 22 is not a threat on the rush (even when he can keep up with the play) so teams can throw two guys and a back checker at 8. On the power play, teams won't let him shoot. There's not much he can do about that from the point. Bruce can move him around, though.

Posted by: DisgustedinArlington | January 3, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

What is amazing is Ovy had to tank and Crosby needed a crazy points streak to catch up to him in points. That's how much better Ovechkin has been then Crosby overall.

Posted by: Mike4169 | January 3, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Overratedchkin?? Perhaps at this point in the season it may be true. However, Alex's points totals would indicate otherwise. As I posted back in late November, this is a team transitioning into a different style of play. Performance in the past six games show that the transition is closer to the end result than it is to the beginning.

As was done on another thread, I'll post a trivial movie quote: "Laugha while you can, monkey boy!"

Posted by: prestoj | January 3, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

@DisgustedinArlington

Agreed about Knuble. Fehr's breakout game in the WC was further evidence that his time has come to get more than 12 min per night playing with grinders. He was also one of the better players in last yrs playoff debacle. He played one game with Ovi-Backstrom a few weeks ago and meshed really well (scored a goal, I think), and then his grandmother passed away, he missed the next game, and Bruce hasn't given him a shot there since.

Esp if they want to use Knuble on both the PP and PK (as has been the case for most of this season) it makes sense for him to not play so many minutes at even strength playing on the #1 line. Give those minutes to Fehr... he's not much of an improvement over 22 in the speed dept, but he has a lethal shot, and would present more of a threat on the rush than Knuble is at this point in his career. Knuble would give us one helluva 3rd liner though, so I think it has win-win potential.

Posted by: chombie13 | January 3, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Ovie sure likes his beer...

Posted by: bigkatlee | January 3, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I must break you...

Posted by: rugod25 | January 4, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

@:prestoj

That would be "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension"...

Posted by: Rhino40 | January 4, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame WP has to make the title inflammatory.

Tarik's article highlighting the fact that Crosby worked on tweaking his game when things weren't working hopefully filters down to Ovi...(or someone is coaching him is working with him) If things aren't working then it's time to evolve... Maybe I'm full of crap too - either way I have faith he'll break out at some point, maybe for an Overchtrick.

Posted by: irascible1 | January 4, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

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