SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Jaroslav Halak

The way the last year has gone for Alex Ovechkin, you can pretty much bet the farm that Sidney Crosby is going to hang a hat trick on Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

First came last season's playoff series between the Capitals and Penguins, won by Crosby en route to hoisting the Stanley Cup. Then came the Olympics, where Ovechkin's hyped Russian team flamed out early and Crosby cemented his status as a national icon by scoring the gold-clinching goal in overtime. And now the first round, where Crosby totaled five goals and nine assists in six games to help the Penguins fend off the pesky Senators. And where Ovechkin could only watch as the Canadiens knocked off his top-seeded Capitals, leading one SportsNation commenter to put it succinctly.

But how bad was Ovechkin, really? He had five goals and five assists, meaning he played a part in almost half of the team's goals against Montreal. So who really deserves the blame?


I'd take Datsuk, Zetterberg, Malkin or Crosby over Ovie any day. IMHO Datsuk and Malkin were the two best players in the league last year. I'd say so far Datsuk and Crosby are the two best players this season.

-- ShootTheM14

Someone mentioned Ovechkin not having a great supporting cast ... Semin, a 40 goal scorer on the reg, turned into a ghost. Backstrom, before the series widely considered one of the best young centers in the game, disappeared when it counted. Jose Theodore won a lot of games this year. So did Varlamov. Wasn't Mike Green a Norris finalist? Isn't Mike Knuble the veteran locker room presence that every young team needs?

-- tamaz71

I don't understand how Crosby vs. Ovechkin was ever an arguement in the first place. I understand they both play different positions and people like big hits and flashy players, but Crosby takes faceoffs and wins a good percentage of the time, and Ovi doesn't. Crosby back-checks and plays defense, Ovi doesn't. And when Crosby decided to focus on his goal scoring last summer it only lead to him scoring the most goals in the NHL. Crosby does everything Ovechkin does plus more.

-- DCSteelFan

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The odds are with us, right? We've already had the lousy Game 7 -- and the Coyotes left no doubt about making sure their debacle at home against the Red Wings would snag that distinction. So surely, tonight's tilt in the (non-Canadian) national capital will provide the drama we've come to know and love from devisive playoff hockey games. Right? Pretty please? Just don't make us watch the Bucks and Hawks, that's all we ask.

In ESPN fantasy leagues this season, Ovechkin was the overall No. 1 pick in traditional drafts and went for an average of $72 (American, we assume) in auction drafts. Halak didn't register, putting him behind the likes of Ondrej Pavelec and Scott Clemmensen. But coming off 90 saves in the last two games, would you trade Halak for Ovechkin tonight?

Brian (Virginia Beach)

Who wins game 7 tonight Capitals or the hot Habs?

E.J. Hradek
E.J. Hradek

I still have to stay with Washington. They did get 54 shots on goal the other night. They will be on home ice. They've lost two games at home in this series, so it might not be that big of an advantage. They need to take the day-to-day with this group and try to catch their breath a little bit. Now is the time for calm and cool leadership. Bruce Boudreau, who's done outstanding with that team over the years, seems too on edge. That kind of stuff on the bench can impact the players in a negative way. I'm looking forward to it. It would be a monumental upset if Montreal can pull it off. In the Ovechkin era of playoff hockey, of their series that have gone seven games, they've won one and lost two. Full transcript

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