Crosby and Ovechkin reunited at NHL All-Star Game: ‘They kind of grew up together’

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Alex Ovechkin predicts he will one day sit down with Sidney Crosby to look back on their careers.

His eternal rival agrees.

Right now, the dynamic duo, who have been united by talent and circumstance since their NHL debuts, still have a lot of unfinished business on the ice.

Both players – in their 18th season – dream of winning the Stanley Cup again, while Ovechkin works tirelessly to break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goalscoring record.

Crosby has 1,469 career points. Ovechkin has 1,464.

Their trophy cases are also filled with personal awards.

The pair have been involved in epic playoff encounters, but they also know the clock is ticking on their Hall of Fame careers.

“It’s definitely something I appreciate more every year,” said Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain, of his journey, which largely mirrors Ovechkin’s. “Just to be able to compete against him all those years and to see what he continues to do, to see that first year year after year is pretty unique.”

Due to health and other reasons, Crosby (35) and Ovechkin (37) will play together in just their fourth All-Star game on Saturday.

“He still enjoys playing hockey,” said Ovechkin, whose 812 career goals fell just 82 short of Gretzky’s mark. “I still enjoy playing hockey.”

Crosby is excited to see the Washington Capitals master the game and leapfrog the Big One.

“He’s on track to get the record,” said the Cole Harbour, NS, product, who was scheduled to compete in Friday’s Breakaway Challenge with Ovechkin during the Skills competition.

“Hopefully he will.”

The NHL stars on hand for the South Florida All-Star Celebration are fascinated by the two superstars they watched most on television as teenagers.

“They kind of grew up together,” Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid said. “A lot of great playoff fights and they both won. It was really cool to watch this fight as a fan.

“To see how much respect they have for each other is also great.”

Ottawa Senators captain Brady Tkachuk and his older brother Matthew, who plays for the Florida Panthers, both attended Crosby’s first All-Star game in Dallas in 2007.

“Being here and talking to them is what I dreamed of as a kid,” Brady Tkachuk said. “It makes a lot of fun.”

First-time All-Star Kevin Hayes of the Philadelphia Flyers said the symmetry of Crosby and Ovechkin’s paths was hard to fathom.

“It’s been Sid and Ovie since they joined the League,” he said. “When you see them come into the league for the first time, you don’t expect to ever play them and then eventually they do.

“These are cool moments you won’t forget.”

Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner said the Pittsburgh-Washington playoff matchup — at its most bittersweet — was a must-see, even as both Crosby and Ovechkin hit hat-tricks in the same game in 2009.

“It was really crazy, just the fight between the two, the hatred at the beginning of their careers,” Marner said. “One of my favorite games of all time was probably still the Hatties game in a row.


Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, whose Atlantic Division will face Crosby and Ovechkin’s Metropolitan Division team in one of Saturday’s All-Star semifinals, said that the greats used a simple formula that has rarely been used for nearly twenty years to duplicate. .

“They’re pretty consistent,” Vasilevskiy said. “A great example for young people. It’s not that hard to play well for a season or two. But playing at the highest level for 10, 15 years is pretty impressive.

“It’s about consistency.”

This could be one of the topics that Crosby and Ovechkin discuss when they are both done with a sport that they have been dominating.

“I’m pretty sure when he and I retire we’re going to have a few beers together,” Ovechkin said. “Talk about the whole thing and what happened.”

And Crosby would like to chat?

“Oh yes,” he replied with a grin. “We still have a lot to catch up on.”

Crosby talks to Bedard

The 2005 NHL draft, like much of the hockey world, was impressed by the addition of Connor Bedard, who is expected to become the No. 1 pick in June.

“He gets the attention that the other Connor got,” Crosby said in reference to McDavid. “He just keeps meeting the expectations – they’re high – but you watch him play and you see what he can do.”

Crosby skated with Bedard, who dominated the recent World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in a record-breaking performance that helped Canada win its 20th gold medal over the summer, drawing rave reviews good

“No weaknesses,” he said of the 17-year-old. “It’s very nice to see someone of that age as dominant as he is.”

Crosby said the confidence Bedard has in both his game and himself jumps off the page.

“He wants a challenge,” Crosby said. “When you’re in this position, sometimes it’s not easy. There is a lot of pressure and a lot of eyes. Everyone tries to break your game or criticize certain things.

“I think he welcomes that. That’s important because it doesn’t get any easier.”


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