It’s that time of the year again: the time when the Penguins and the Capitals face-off in a match up of the two best teams in the East (more like the league). Analysts and columnists alike, all see this as the perfect opportunity to do comparisons in play between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. I’d like to take a different approach. What if, now this may sound crazy, but what if we compared Evgeni Malkin to Alex Ovechkin. Heads may roll on this one.
Granted, Malkin is often injured when playoffs come around but that does not take away the effect he has on the team in the post season. The guy has won a Conn Smythe for goodness sake. When playoffs come around, its usually seen as Crosby vs whoever the opposing teams best player is. I think for the Pens vs the Caps, Malkin is going to show his stripes.
In the 129 playoff games that Malkin has been healthy for, he has scored 140 points. He has helped win his team 2 Stanley Cup Trophies and has earned himself the Conn Smythe trophy, MVP of the playoffs, back in 2009. Thats pretty good for a player who’s lived in Crosby’s shadow pretty much his whole career. Let’s take it one step further though. Malkin has 11 points in 5 games and is quietly dominating teams this post season. I’m excited to see how the Russian native fares against fellow Team Russia teammate and friend, Alex Ovechkin.
Ovi, on the other hand, has never made it out of the second round of the playoffs in his NHL career. For a team as stacked as the Capitals, you’d think they’d be a shoe in for at LEAST the ECF but no. They have struggled greatly even though they’re AMAZING in the regular season. In Ovechkins 90 playoff games, he has 44 goals and 85 points. For a player of this caliber you’d think he’s at least be putting up numbers that equal Malkin’s. But he doesn’t and honestly, I think that’s why the Caps suffer so much in the post season. Their stars are inconsistent after the season ends. So why then would the Crosby and Ovi comparison even be relative to the situation when Ovechkin’s point total in the playoffs don’t compare to Evgeni Malkin’s point total? Is it because everyone forgets what a spectacular player Malkin is Or is it because Ovi and Sid have been compared very closely since they were drafted? Either way, I cannot wait to see the two Russians face off once more in round two.