NHL is now McDavid’s league, but Crosby’s winning resume is on top – .

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NHL is now McDavid’s league, but Crosby’s winning resume is on top – .


EDMONTON – There was a time when it was still a debate: who is the best hockey player in the world?
When Sidney Crosby’s achievements, subtle skills, and royal legacy were not yet surpassed by the numbers and genius feats of Connor McDavid.

But over the past three seasons, where McDavid has dominated Crosby 81 goals to 42 while producing points at the same ratio (238-116), it’s a question the hockey world has, in deference to Crosby, allowed itself to be. to hush up.

Today the correct question would be: if you could have a player for a game, who would it be?

This is not a question you would ask these men, although they are comfortable describing each other’s glamor.

“Sid, he’s probably a little stronger than me. A little more powerful, ”McDavid said this week in an interview with Sportsnet’s Gene Principe. “He creates a lot of play below the goal line. He’s so strong on the puck, where I could (create) a little more off the run.

“When someone is playing where he is,” Crosby retorted in a media session Tuesday the day before the Oilers-Penguins game in the McDavid-built house, “it’s hard to think they can again find another level. I think he did – that’s the most impressive part of it all.

One is Tim Hortons. The other, Rogers Communications.

One is 87 years old, the other 97.

Both are first-name Canadians. Sid and Connor – last names not required.

One of them scored the gold goal, won two Olympic gold medals and three Stanley Cups. The other, well, he’s got a ways to go after the NHL missed the last Winter Games and his own team stumbled in the rebuilding process.

But at just 24, McDavid has skated with the torch in the here-and-now of the National Hockey League schedule, as Crosby, 34, plays fewer games per season, Father Time getting closer as another of those. lightning fast kids. he faces every night.

Crosby has only played 10 games this season and has seven points. McDavid has played 20 and has 36.

McDavid is tearing the league apart today like Sid did in 2008 and 2009, that unstoppable force of nature who screamed “Iggy! That afternoon in Vancouver, scoring the goal McDavid can’t wait to have a chance to one day replicate.

“We played a game in the morning and went back to a teammate,” recalls McDavid of that day, February 28, 2010, when he was only 13 years old. “There were a lot of people there, and (I remember) feeling the tension before, and the joy when Sid scored was great. I think all Canadians will remember where they were then.

They became symbiotic, these two, like Mario Lemieux did with Wayne Gretzky.

“He’s 10 years older than me, so I would have been seven or eight when he went through the whole draft process,” McDavid said. “To see him become No. 1, play his rookie year… I was a young kid and I wanted to be the first overall pick and do whatever he did. Now he’s got cups, gold medals – whatever you want to do with a player. “

Of course, McDavid wants these things too. He needs them, the team gear to go along with the series of individual awards that dot McDavid’s past and future.

Who knows what an opportunity this Edmonton team will give their captain in the spring, if they’re ready to take McDavid to those games where Sid has claimed hockey greatness. But before all of this happens, Beijing is calling. This will be McDavid’s first international tournament since the 2015 World Juniors.

“Every Canadian kid wants to play in the NHL and right behind is the Olympics and represent their country,” he said. “Representing my country and playing with these great other Canadian players is going to be good. “

Crosby was part of the Canadian junior team in North Dakota in an NHL lockout that most would agree was the best roster to ever compete at a U-20 World Championship . Then he played two Olympics and a World Cup, so many bricks in the wall that is the legend Crosby.

“You learn a lot. You are with a lot of great players – a lot of guys who have had success and have found it in different ways. Different personalities, ”Crosby said. “It’s exciting to be around such good guys. It brings out the best in everyone.

“The combination of all of that and embracing the whole experience of playing for your country… Doing what you love to do, but not just as a hockey team, but as Team Canada. This is what is so unique.

McDavid is still the junior partner here, don’t doubt it. We suspect he’ll be wearing an “A” in Beijing, while Hockey Canada sews the “C” on Crosby’s jersey for one last memorable tournament.

But in the short term, Wednesday night brings us another special night, TNT’s rare appearance in Edmonton a sign of what this meeting means for the hockey world.

On his last time in Edmonton, Sid danced around the corner and won the game in overtime. It was awesome, and he had the last laugh one night when McDavid also scored a goal and an assist.

Edmonton has won just two of 10 meetings with the Penguins since McDavid arrived in 2015, and the memories are mostly self-deprecating for the young Grasshopper. Like the first game they’ve ever played against each other.

“I remember getting ready for that first draw, all excited,” McDavid smirked. “He caught up to him, yeah. I wasn’t even lucky. It’s quite funny to look back.

Sidney Crosby will not be remembered for long, Connor McDavid will say.

Maybe for a night, here or there, maybe. But overall, it’s McDavid’s league now.

He just needs a few bigger attendances to sort out the final arguments.

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