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B/R NHL Staff Round Table: Favorite Player Competition

B/R NHL Staff Round Table: Favorite Player Competition

B/R NHL Staff Round Table: Favorite Player Competition

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    Patrick McDermott

    Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have been linked together since their NHL debut on October 5, 2005.

    The pair have earned the same amount of points — 1,423, by entering Tuesday — and have faced each other in many tie-breakers over the years. Who could forget the duel hat-trick for both players on May 4, 2009, in Game Two of the Eastern Conference semi-finals?

    While Crosby beat Ovi in ​​terms of Stanley Cups won – three to one – the Capitals captain tops the pens with the Hart Memorial Trophy winning the league’s best player three-to-two by Crosby. With the pair set to face again Wednesday night hockey This week, the B/R NHL crew got together to bring back memories of their favorite gamers’ competition.

    What is your favorite player rivalry, hockey fans? Share your thoughts in the comments section of the app!

Alex Ovechkin vs. Henrik Lundqvist

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    Ovi and the King have duel several times over the years.

    AP Photo / Nick Wass

    A good solo competition in hockey usually has the formation of very talented players trying to match each other. Gretzky vs. Lemieux and Brodeur vs. Roy and Yzerman vs. Sakic is among the most memorable in this regard.

    But, for the most part, comparisons of their talents are evaluated largely in the abstract rather than as direct conflict. There were moments when they faced each other, perhaps even in memorable watershed moments, but one’s success was not necessarily caused by the other’s failure in any particular game.

    This is why the best player is Alexander Ovechkin’s rivalry versus Henrik Lundqvist. Certainly, at a team level, there is a healthy history between the two. Lundqvist has faced the Capitals 42 times in the regular season, winning 22 of them.

    The two faced off 33 times over the course of five career playoffs; They have never faced another team or player more than once in their playoff career. The Capitals won the first two, followed by three consecutive Rangers series victories, and four of those five series went to seven.

    But what really defines the relationship is that it is the only noticeable rivalry that has directly pitted one against the other. Ovechkin, an unstoppable force, was trying to break through a stable wall, Lundqvist.

    Every goal scored by The Great Eight came at the expense of Lundqvist, and every stop for King Henrik was a great opportunity for Uffi. It was a losing rivalry, in which one’s success inherently requires the failure of the other.

    Ovechkin scored some notable goals against Hank, while Lundqvist had his share of thefts. And while fans love a rivalry filled with hostility, these two futuristic halls fought each other with great respect for the other’s brilliance.

    The top scorer and best goalkeeper of a generation had several memorable moments against each other in impressive playoffs, each with moments of success against the other.

    Adam Hermann

Sidney Crosby vs. Claude Gero

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 22: Claude Giroud #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers shakes hands with Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins after the Penguins defeated the Flyers 8-5 in the first round of the sixth round of the Eastern Conference during the 2018 Stanley Cup NHL Playoffs at the Wales Center Fargo on April 22, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins advanced to the second round of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs with today's win.  (Photo by Lynn Redcules/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Lynn Redcules/NHLI via Getty Images

    The rivalry between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin will long be remembered as one of the National Hockey League’s greatest rivalries. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain has also duel with Claude Giroud during the last fifteen seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Keystone State clubs had a long, natural competition before the advent of Crosby and Giroud in the late 2000s. As the top spots in their clubs, they faced each other regularly, adding to the tension during Match 3 of the first round series of the 2012 qualifiers.

    When the dust settled, Crosby and Jirou ended up being punished for the fight. After the match, the Penguins captain said, “I don’t like anyone on their team.”

    However, the Flyers center had the last laugh in the decisive sixth game, as he fired his opponent with an early strike and scored to lead his teammates in eliminating the Penguins.

    Later that summer, Gero had wrist surgery to repair the fractures he claimed was inflicted by Crosby during their series. Captain Penguins later said he was not trying to harm the Flyers Center but stated that he had no regrets if he did.

    The rivalry between Crosby and Giroud would flare up occasionally in the following years before the latter departed from Philadelphia before last season’s trade deadline.

    Although it did not burn again as it did during the 2012 qualifying series, it fueled anticipation among the fans that maintained the intensity of the long-running feud between these two clubs.

    – Lyle Richardson

Marc Messier vs Joel Otto

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    Hockey: NHL Playoffs: Edmonton Oilers Mark Messier (11) while playing against Calgary Flames Joel Otto (29) at Olympic Saddledome.  Game 2. Calgary, Canada 4/21/1988 Credit: David E. Klotho (Photo by David E.

    Kit Number: X36443 TK3 R12 F4

    Whether it was in the regular season or during the playoffs, Alberta’s battle between Calgary and Edmonton was a war on the ice. Both teams were very talented, both teams played fiercely, both teams hated each other.

    This sentiment is best exemplified in the rivalry between Oilers star Marc Messier and Flims center Joel Auto. Every corner fight, every confrontation and every struggle along the boards was a mortal battle.

    Messier was a great goalscorer and a physically intimidating player. While Otto was not a great goalscorer, he was a great defender, great in confrontations and a very physical skater.

    While Joe Nieuwendyk tried to argue Wayne Gretzky, it was Messier and Otto who led the way in handling the decisive blows and setting the tone during each match.

    The playoffs are where the competition gets tough, and Edmonton and Calgary faced each other five times between 1983 and 1991. It was in 1986 when Messier and Otto met in the postseason for the first time, though.

    Although Edmonton typically held top spot throughout the 1980s, the Otto Flames interrupted what had been an incredible streak of Oilers Cup victories in 1986 when they beat their Edmonton rivals in Game 7 to advance to the Campbell Conference final. The Flames went on to win their first and only Stanley Cup that year.

    Their rivalry didn’t end when both players left Calgary and Edmonton. When Otto played for the Philadelphia Flyers and Messier was captain of the New York Rangers during the 1995-1996 season, they dropped the gloves against each other again while they were in the middle of another fierce competition.

    I know they don’t make them like they used to, but the battles Messier and Otto had in the ’80s and ’90s truly It doesn’t happen anymore.


    Joe reply

Wayne Gretzky vs Billy Smith

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    Edmonton, AB - May 1983: Wayne Gretzky #99 of the Edmonton Oilers skates around the net as 31st New Yorker Billy Smith pursues the play during the 1983 Stanley Cup Finals circa May 1983 at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images)

    Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios / Getty Images

    If you really pay attention, you already know: When it comes to allegiances on the B/R hockey team, I’m going to pause the longest and loudest when discussing the merits of Edmonton Oilers.

    I was an elementary school-aged fan in my WHA days, transitioned when they made it to the NHL in 1979 and rode the wave through five hanging banners over a seven-year period that ended in 1990. So it’s probably no surprise that my favorite rival looks back to the glory days .

    I was in the eighth grade when the Oilers met the New Yorkers in the 1983 Stanley Cup Final, and I told everyone in middle school that Wayne Gretzky and Co. were the greatest things since slicing bread—no matter what the islanders had done over the previous three seasons.

    Then Billy Smith appeared.

    The best Mali goalkeeper of his era not only saved everything he had in the series, but also managed to get deep into the head of the great player. Smith used his mouth, a wand, and whatever else on hand to let the best player in the league mumble on the rafters and tweet to officials in a way that the likes of Reggie Lemelin and Richard Brodeur have not.

    He finished in four games.

    Gretsky was stopped with four assists after scoring 12 goals in the first three rounds.

    I’d be lying if I didn’t give up a small part of me for fear of it happening again when teams went back to starring in 1984. After all, Smith was still Smith. Heroes are still heroes. And hitting the same punching bags at the Campbell Conference all the way didn’t change that.

    But the concern did not last long.

    Although the 99 was passive and useless during his first two rematch games, he finally broke the code in games 3-5, producing four goals and seven points as the Oilers broke out and, satisfactorily, chased the impenetrable Smith to the bench. After only one period at the end.

    And although the face-to-face trophy count was one each, the fact that ol’ Billy couldn’t even bother stepping out for the handshake line after the Game 5 break was proof that Gretz had it too.

    Thirty-eight years later, it still makes me smile.

    Lyle Fitzsimmons

Joe Sakic vs. Steve Yzerman

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    DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Steve Wasserman #19 Detroit Red Wings alumni and Joe Sakic #19 Colorado Avalanche alumni shake hands before the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series alumni game at Coors Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.

    (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

    I have a lot of vitriolic thoughts about this. Matthew Tkachuk against your goalkeeper, Brad Marchand against the world, and Sean Avery vs Martin Browdor. I’ll let the words speak for themselves in that.

    But if we’re serious, I’ll have to go with Joe Sakic against Steve Yzerman. If you haven’t already watched the E:60 documentary about Red Wings vs. Avalanche, you need to. Many people, including goalkeepers, fought as a result of the rivalry between Sakic and Wasserman, and none of them were Sakic or Wasserman.

    I just feel like this rivalry was a link between the old and new NHL. Both Avalanche’s Sakic (1.19 points per game) and Red Wings’ Iserman (1.16 points per game) were legends in their own right, and they actually respect each other. They were two very similar players, and both are NHL executives now for a very good reason.

    Both have spent their entire careers with one franchise, and although Yzerman had a stint with the successful Lightning as CEO, he has returned to Detroit. Both were captains, both won several Stanley Cups, and both scored over 600 goals.

    I might give the final nod to Yzerman for winning 3 Cups versus two Sakic Cups, but I’ll count the latter in the Hart nod and the last Avalanche Cup considering all the clever moves he’s made as a GM.

    They’re both wearing number 19, which is kind of funny. But I really feel like they paved the way for Ovechkin and Crosby, and I have a lot of respect for all four of these legends.

    – Sarah Sivian



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