Calder Race – Head to Head

There is so much talk regarding the likes of Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, and who will be the winner of this years Calder Trophy.

There are so many people who like to bash Sidney Crosby (for some reason), and put Ovechkin on some sort of pedastel.

This is a great year for rookies all around, and we’ve got two 1st overall picks going head to head.

If the labor dispute never occured, we wouldn’t have been able to see this. Ovechkin would have taken the Calder last year, and Crosby this.

There are 2 others that I put high up in the contention this year.

Marek Svatos 22g-14a-36p. -4

Dion Phaneuf 10g-14A-24p. +2

There are others of course (Vanek, Prucha, Steen, Meszaros, etc) but I’m going to leave them out, as I’m quite certain that this is going to be a 2 horse race, in the eyes of the NHL.

SIDNEY CROSBY. Born: Aug 7, 1987.

NHL STATS: 41 Games. 21g. 27a. 48pts. 60pim. -6.

PREVIOUS STATS – RIMOUSKI. 121gp. 110g. 183a. 293pts. 2003-04 & 2004-05 combined.

ALEXANDER OVECHKIN. Born: Sept 17, 1985.

NHL STATS: 39gp. 25g. 22a. 47pts. 24pim. -4

PREVIOUS STATS – MOSCOW DYNAMO. 151gp. 36g. 33a. 69pts. 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 combined.

Now I know it’s completely ridiculous to compare MOSCOW DYNAMO to RIMOUSKI OCEANIC. These are two very different leagues indeed. But what these statistics somewhat tell me, and having seen Ovechkin in the past, he took a while to grow into his frame and needed a LOT of development to get where he is today. Alexander used to be a very skinny, chicken****, diver, afraid to pay any price at all.

Crosby had a bit of an easier path, but boy did he put up the numbers to warrant the hype that surrounds him.

Both of these guys have put on the weight. And both of these guys are not chickens. Ovechkin has come a long way in the last couple of years, and isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty, or take a hit.

These two guys have very similar stats, playing on two different types of teams.

The biggest difference is that Crosby has 1 more game winner. And has 2 OT winners. And he plays with more heart than Ovechkin (although that heart sure can put him in the penalty box, at times).

The fact that he is 2 years (exactly) Ovechkin’s junior tells me that Crosby is in fact winning this race thus far.

EDGE: CROSBY (by a C Hair).

Your thoughts?

132 Responses to Calder Race – Head to Head

  1. Gretzkin says:

    Does anybody out there know if there is a site that keeps track of Diving Penalties, and who the true Divers actually are?

    I’d like to see the list.

    I’m not so sure that Darcy Tucker would top this list. I can’t remember him being called for it. He plays with extreme intensity and does throw himself around a bit, he’s a bit animated, and extremely annoying to opponents, but I’m not so sure about the diving bit. I could be wrong, as I often am…

    Ribiero’s dive in the last playoffs was the worst one I think I’ve seen in my life

    Anyways, I’d love to see the list.


  2. suppaman says:

    I’d rather start my team (if were talking rookies) with either Henrik Lundqvist or Ryan Miller over any of these guys. That is if you are building a team from scratch.

  3. suppaman says:

    First off you are clearly biased, it’s evident in your main post, and all your side posts in this thread. Ovechkin does not dive, and if fact takes as much crap as Crosby does, the only thing is Ovechkin is big, and will use it. Ovechkin should have more penalties called on the hooks and what not he takes, except he doesn’t just fall over (like a lot of the bigger, better/guys with pride) when he gets hooked and whatnot (if you WATCHED the actual games you would see this) where as I saw the Pens the other night, and Crosby essentially belly flopped while trying to go through two defenders without being touched by either (I can’t remember if that’s when he was nailed for a diving penalty in that game or not). Ovechkin doesn’t play scared, and lately plays with more poise than Crosby. He commands respect in what he can do both offensively, and physically. Therefore he doesn’t need people patrolling the ice for him. Crosby, while for the most part can play center, he really shouldn’t be at least on faceoffs, because everytime I watch the Pens, he loses the draw, cleanly. I think unless he is able to improve drastically in the next two years, should not be playing center in the pro’s (or at least taking faceoffs).

    Obviously there really isn’t a point to this, because no matter what proof of actual footage for scouting and in general game footage was shown to you, you’d come back with some ridiculous assumption about something that still points back to Crosby being better.

    Your last two paragraphs (if one could even call them that), sum up your bias very clearly to everyone.

  4. penguinos66 says:

    the difference between crosby and ovechkin, is that crosby is one of many go to guys on the pens, where as ovechkin is THE go to guy on the caps, so he gets the puck more often. i am a pens fan, but i do like ovechkin, he’s a solid all around player, but he’s the star of his team where crosby is one of 4 or 5 stars on the team.

  5. cgolding says:

    he’s not going to get it, but Phaneuf should.

  6. i_know_hockey says:

    haha… comon guys, we all know the Sabres have the brightest future lol… but on a serious note, the Rochester Americans were indeed the best team in the AHL last season (sabres farm team)… and last game the sabres had 6 rookies in their line-up, and have been playing with 4-5 all season long.

    And they continue to win without the top 2 returning scorers from last season: Danny Briere and JP Dumont and they are missing Taylor Pyatt. They are building around rookie Goaltender Ryan Miller, while bringing these young players along.

    (i think they have a whole 2 players over the age of 30)

    So maybe the sabres’ future looks bright as well… if only one of the sabres 3 balls came up with pick number one… *sigh*

  7. OldGoalie says:

    Well, maybe…but with nobody else to take up spots on the powerplay and 4 on 4 and in other situations that are conducive to offense, you could perhaps argue that Ovechkin is likely to play more quality minutes than Crosby, too.

    I personally think that supporting cast is absolutely irrelevant to who the most talented rookie is, simply because it’s complex enough comparing two players with different styles even without factoring in how the other guys in uniform affect their play. There’s no way to work out who benefits or doesn’t from playing with Cassels vs. Palffy. And how do you evaluate Gonchar vs. Witt? Gonchar is the all-star…but I guarantee you Crosby spends more time worrying about getting back to pick up some of the slack in his own end more than Ovechkin does. Kolzig is a better stick handling goalie than Fleury is…what impact does that have? It’s just too many variables when you start worrying about everyone other than the player who’s up for the award.

  8. i_know_hockey says:

    no.. ur the moron if u think ice time makes just a huuuugue difference… and ur basing off of it

  9. OldGoalie says:

    It’s not just two minutes per game…it’s where those two minutes happen in the course of the games. I haven’t studied any Caps film or anything, but my guess is that Ovechkin get a LOT more quality minutes (powerplay, 4 on 4, etc) than Crosby does.

  10. OldGoalie says:

    Nobody is…that standard is too high for anyone to live up to. Without that Edmonton team around him, Gretzky wouldn’t even have been the first Gretzky.

  11. nhand says:

    The goaltending position is all important of course, but I think it’s easier to find a goaltender than a defenseman. There are many great young goalies in the league, but there are few stud defensemen in the mold of Phaneuf.

    Still, you couldn’t go wrong starting a team with a great goaltender such as the two you mentioned.

  12. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    Ovechkin or Phaneuf….. I would personally give it to Phaneuf. He controls his teams Powerplay, and being a rookie defenseman that’s very impressive. However, the NHL will for sure give it to Ovechkin or Crosby, but THIS YEAR Crosby shouldn’t be in the same breath as the other two, at least not for the Calder.

  13. Gretzkin says:

    Phaneuf is amazing for a 20 year old D man, and deserves strong consideration. Though I think he’d be 4th on the list at this point.






    But why shouldn’t Crosby be in the same breath as the other two? I just don’t get it. His stats are a mirror image of Ovechkin’s. He’s younger and more “all around”.

  14. wingerxxx says:

    Andreas Johansson was the greatest diver the NHL ever saw. He made it into a true art form. His dives were a thing of beauty to behold…a guy on the bench could raise his stick 15 feet from Johansson, he could hit the ice, and still make it look believable. Amazing stuff.

  15. Gretzkin says:

    I’m not biased in this case. I just prefer Crosby, and think that he gets a bad wrap. People are saying that Ovechkin is so much better than Crosby, so far, and I just don’t see it that way. The stats are incredibly similar. I’m only defending Crosby, as I think the opinions are somewhat lopsided. That’s all that they are though is opinions.

    Yes, Ovechkin has changed a lot, and isn’t the big wimp that he once was. Far worse than Crosby, I might add, when it came to diving. I noted that he’s come a long way since then, and I’m incredibly impressed with the weight that he’s put on, and the fact that not only can he deliver a (punishing) hit, he can also take it. I admit that he has the one up in this category.

    And yes, Crosby faceoff prowess needs a bit of work (39.6%).

    But I just don’t see what makes Ovechkin so much better than Crosby. Because he’s not.

    Sure I’ve watched more Penguins games than Capitals games, and both players impress. I’m just trying to get to the bottom of what people think.

    The fact that I am Canadian has nothing to do with my opinion of these two players. I don’t add anything to my preference of Crosby because he is Canadian and Ovechkin is Russian.

    I think Ovechkin is awesome. I just think Sid gets a bad wrap.

    I just did a 30 team survey and picked my favorite players from each team.

    Canada – 13 (43%)

    Sweden – 6 (20%)

    U.S – 6 (20%)

    Russia – 2 (6%) – Ovechkin, by the way.

    Slovakia – 2 (6%)

    Czech – 1 (3%)

    Though my favorite players are prodominantly Canadian, I have a good representation of favorite players from other countries. I was actually surprised to see that 6 of my favorite players were American.

    Considering Canada makes up more than 60% of the NHL roster, I think if I were so biased, I would find more Canadians to be my favorites on the remaining teams.

    I challenge you do the same. You don’t have to name names, as I didn’t, but I hypothesize you and everybody else will come out with majority of Canadians.

    I’m just one of the few who prefers Sidney of Alexander, it’s actually pretty clear to me, when you put them shoulder to shoulder. For who they are, and what they’ve accomplished so far, and what they will accomplish in the future.

    If Ovechkin wins the Calder, you wont see any complaining out of me. There is still the rest of the season to separate the 2 of these guys.

  16. Gretzkin says:

    That’s totally hilarious!

    15 feet!


    I really want to get to the bottom of this whole Diving thing.

    I remeber the NHL was going to post the names of convicted divers up in the various dressing room, to humiliate the players.

    I wonder what happened to that?

    Anyways, there has to be a list somewhere…

    I remember in my playing days, I’d take the odd dive.

    Fact is, I don’t see anything wrong with diving, providing that it’s done convincingly and you don’t get caught.

    Drawing a penalty for your team is a good thing.

    It’s just the obvious emabarrasing dives that get called that are tough to take.

    The stupid thing is, is that when a player gets called for diving, the refs generally tend to penalize the victim, as well. I think this is wrong, as the diving team doesn’t really have to suffer the consequences.

  17. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    one of 4 or 5 stars that has been proving to score so therefore wouldnt he get the puck more.

  18. Sundinfan says:

    With regards to talent, the Pens blow the Capitals out of the water

  19. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    alright well

    2005 so far as i write this he has 4 goals 8 assists. so even if he is top line with ovechkin ovechkin still does quite a bit himself.

    Last Nhl Season 6 goals 20 assists. ok but how many of those assists were on nash’s goals??? probably not all of them nash actually has talent.

    2001 was not naslunds breakout year it was actually 1999 where his point total almost doubled. and yea cassels had a decent year in 2001 with naslund but once again all of those assists were probably not on naslunds goals so its not that good.

    sanderson 1993 ok not bad i give you this one.

    but for nash and naslund they did not really need cassels they are actually good hockey players. sanderson needed someone and cassels was the best hartford had and he had a decent season.

  20. mtrakker85 says:

    I’ve watched a few Penguins games this year, and the one that stood out the most was against the Flyers.

    Crosby was getting rough treatment from Hatcher, so he cried about it to the refs and then he flopped around all over the place to draw penalities.

    Everyone says such great things about him, but anyone who takes dives ughhh lol

    And there are tons of players who do it from every team in the league.

  21. mtrakker85 says:

    He has been great for the Rangers. Truly their savior behind Jagr. Without his steller play in net, who knows where they would be in the standings.

  22. mtrakker85 says:

    Without Lundqvist, the Rangers would be swimming with the Penguins right now at the bottom of the standings.

  23. Hockey_Fan_99 says:

    Talent is useless if you cant put in the effort

  24. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    True. Their numbers are comparable. But i didn’t want to say what 90% of people on this thread have already oversaid. Crosby plays with future hall of famers, while Ovechkin get’s paired with Andrew Cassels, who is playing bad even for his standards. It can be said that the players along side Crosby are “washed up” or at least not as dominant as they used to be, but LeClair and Palffy still know where to put the puck practically with their eyes closed. Crosby has one hell of an advantage playing with them in my opinion, and if Crosby and Ovechkin swapped teams, i think the point totals would be a lot more lopsided.

  25. Gretzkin says:

    That is EXACTLY were this all would get interesting.

    Saying that Crosby has all of these Vets around him is one thing, but he doesn’t play with them all. They would have more of an impact on his development in the dressing room than on the ice.

    What if these guys played on seperate teams?

    Very Interesting indeed!

    Okay, so Ovechkin is all alone out there and expected to produce pretty much 100% of the Caps offense. While having to play alongside the horrible Andrew Cassells. A player that is not known for his playmaking ability, or had no hand in Rick Nash’s breakout year.

    And Sidney Crosby is playing for a more rounded, veteran filled lineup, where the points can be spread around by such magnifecent depth the Penguins are so obviously celebrating.

    And Crosby has the same amount of points as Ovechkin?!?!?!?!?!?

    If Crosby were playing for the Capitals, you could take away 10 of Ovechkins points and just front them to Crosby.

    You’re absolutely right.

  26. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    hmmm…. i sense a bit of sarcasm. I don’t know why it has to be your way or no way for you, i just completely disagree with you on the subject. No need for insults. I don’t know why it seems impossible for people on this site to just AGREE TO DISAGREE.

  27. Gretzkin says:

    Okay, you got me on the sarcasm.

    I’m not trying to insult you.

    I can agree to disagree.


  28. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    Thank you very much, finally a respectable person.

  29. FoppaFlyers21 says:

    As much as i hate to admit, Forsberg did dive “a few” times in his earler Avalanche days…..

  30. chanman says:

    I was watching the OTT-WASH game the other day and it’s CLEAR that WASH’s game plan is GET OVECHKIN a shot…

    My what a stupid thing to do.

    Fact is buddie, even on the PP, AO has 4 totem poles on his team.

    Crosby has an array of skilled players, he should be stomping AO out in this race.

    AO is the best pure , natural goal scorer I have seen in a while. Sid may be more complete, but as far as this race, AO is in a class of his own.

  31. chanman says:

    I recall browsing this site several times before the season began…..most people had the Pens making the playoffs, if not challenging Philly for 1st in division….hmm. The pens brought in all this talent, but forget that dfence wins games. They have Fleury, and not much else back there. The pens, and therefore, in some regard, crosby is falling short and not living up to expectations. Without crosby, I dont think the pens would be a much worse team. Without AO, I think the caps WOULD be a much worse team. I guess my biggest problem with Crosby, is that I just dont like him, partially b/c he is wearing and “A”. ( how dumb is that, giving a 18 yo punk a letter, rookie season)? I dont care how good you are, especially when you have palffy, leclaire, recci, gonchar….he should NOT get a letter. Crosby is not what I thought he would be, maybe the team on general is dissapointing me, but I go with AO.

    And to the guy who give crosby the edge b/c AO has more shots than Sid, and are close in goals, are you putting the kid down b/c he can hit the net more than crosby? Cmon, that is a lame argument.

  32. CapsnSkins says:

    With all due respect to Crosby, Ovechkin deserves the award. If crosby outscores Alex by 15 points, Alex still should get the Calder–simply b/c Ovechkin has nothing around him–he is more or less playing on an AHL team. he has no one to set him up and is consistantly double teamed. Every team the plays the Caps has the strategy to simply stop Ovechkin–they roll the defense at him and he still finds an opportunity to score. I also firmly believe that Alex is a long shot to win, not b/c Crosby will have a better year, but b/c of the NHL’s PR toward Crosby–if he does not win then they lose, hence we are starting to see more PR go Alex’s way. Plus there is and will alays be a slight Russian bias.

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