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number9

Best Current Russian Player

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Of course it's Pasha. Number one: You won't see Ovechkin on the penalty kill - at least I've never seen him on one. Two: I seriously doubt you will ever see Ovechkin win a Selke trophy unless his game does a serious ( and I do mean SERIOUS) overhaul, which is highly unlikely. Three: Even Ovechkin admits he goes on YouTube and watches Pasha's highlights to glean tricks and shots and tips. Four: When Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was touted as the number one pick in the draft, who was he likened to? Not Ovechkin. And five: When the Wings drafted Tomas Jurco, who is everyone comparing him to? Again, not Ovechkin.

I'd say it's a slap shot right in the net, and case closed.

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Bryzgalov is clearly the best Russian player. He even said so.

Anyhow...

Malkin-Kovalchuk-Ovechkin? I think you have those three in reverse order. Ovechkin has been one of the league's elite player's since entering it. Kovalchuk has been among the league's top players for years. Malkin's scoring numbers are slightly better than Kovalchuk's and worse than Ovechkin's, but neither Kovy nor Ovi have had anyone anywhere near Crosby's talent level. Ovechkin has a strong team that has developed around him, but it is built around him and was not in place when he was drafted. Crosby was in Pittsburgh when Malkin arrived. The best Kovalchuk has had was a still-developing Heatley, and a somewhat experienced Hossa. That's two players who could be expected to put up strong performances. Crosby is a yearly Hart and Art Ross contender. Hossa and Heatley are not.

No, I have them in correct order :) For me it does not matter what media thinks about a player or how many points he gets if his production stays well above average. A hockey player needs to be evaluated in terms of what he brings to a team. In general, I think Kovalchuk and Ovechkin are the most useless "stars" in NHL with Kovalchuk being a bit better team player. Excellent complementary players, no doubt. Team-first players are way more important. That is why Crosby and Datsyuk are real stars. It is a big mistake that Washington builds their team around Ovechkin ego.

PS I indeed forgot Bryzgalov. So my first three would be Datsyuk, Malkin, and Bryzgalov...

Edited by RusDRW

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If I were building a team from scratch, I'd take Datsyuk over Ovechkin. I think as an athlete, Ovechkin is much more impressive. He's big, strong, fast and scary. However, Datsyuk is complete and a proven winner. Ego aside and all.

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I'd have to go with Pavs becasue of his style and his ability to do what he does on the ice, and he does some amazing things out there. I know Ovechkin has done some pretty neat stuff as well and he probably a bit more popular but Pavs is absolutley brilliant and I think there is a difference between being Brilliant and Clever and Pavs is definetly brilliant. Not to mention he does have two Stanley Cups so I'd have to go with Pavel Datsyuk!!

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Think about it...this should be an absolute no-brainer. Who's got two Stanley Cups, and who doesn't? Who has three Selke trophies, and who doesn't? And who is getting up and coming players compared to them? Wanna take a wild guess?

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No, I have them in correct order :) For me it does not matter what media thinks about a player or how many points he gets if his production stays well above average. A hockey player needs to be evaluated in terms of what he brings to a team. In general, I think Kovalchuk and Ovechkin are the most useless "stars" in NHL with Kovalchuk being a bit better team player. Excellent complementary players, no doubt. Team-first players are way more important. That is why Crosby and Datsyuk are real stars. It is a big mistake that Washington builds their team around Ovechkin ego.

PS I indeed forgot Bryzgalov. So my first three would be Datsyuk, Malkin, and Bryzgalov...

Wait...

You say that being a team player is big and then pick Bryzgalov? Bryzgalov's contract demands just dismantled a pretty solid Philly team. Richards, Carter, Versteeg, Leino...all gone. Carter was supposedly a cancer, so we'll still make that trade. But not the Richards trade. And not the Bryz trade. The Versteeg trade was made to make room for Jagr, so we'll keep that. With the Richards trade canceled, Schenn's $3m is available. The Flyers can use it to then fill their goaltending vacancy with Tomas Vokoun, who ended up in Washington for $1.5m. That's a MUCH better team. Better in goal, better at forward, same defensemen.

And using Crosby as an example of a team player? The guy who skipped the handshake? For shame. Ovechkin may have an ego, but most big stars do. That doesn't mean they aren't team players. Sergei Fedorov had an ego, yet was an excellent team player. Ovechkin is also a good team player; he gave up his personal offensive numbers (and therefore received much criticism) to play within an improved defensive system.

Ovie is better than Malkin or Bryz.

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Wait...

You say that being a team player is big and then pick Bryzgalov? Bryzgalov's contract demands just dismantled a pretty solid Philly team. Richards, Carter, Versteeg, Leino...all gone. Carter was supposedly a cancer, so we'll still make that trade. But not the Richards trade. And not the Bryz trade. The Versteeg trade was made to make room for Jagr, so we'll keep that. With the Richards trade canceled, Schenn's $3m is available. The Flyers can use it to then fill their goaltending vacancy with Tomas Vokoun, who ended up in Washington for $1.5m. That's a MUCH better team. Better in goal, better at forward, same defensemen.

And using Crosby as an example of a team player? The guy who skipped the handshake? For shame. Ovechkin may have an ego, but most big stars do. That doesn't mean they aren't team players. Sergei Fedorov had an ego, yet was an excellent team player. Ovechkin is also a good team player; he gave up his personal offensive numbers (and therefore received much criticism) to play within an improved defensive system.

Ovie is better than Malkin or Bryz.

I think you're a bit confused with the term "team-first" player. I use this term to describe what players do on the ice. Of course, loyalty is important and in order to win you may take less. However, Bryzgalov didn't force Holmgren to trade Richards or Carter. It was Holgrem who decided to trade Versteeg and use the leftover of the cap space to sign Jagr instead of keeping Richards or Carter. Trading one of the was inevitable - in the cap era you need to give something to get one of the best goalies in the world. Bryz just wanted to get paid and paid fairly. Moreover, he didn't owe a thing to Flyers nor he asked to be traded there.

That famous Crosby's non-handshake once again? Never ending story just like that Bertuzzi punch :) People should understand that when you have so much adrenaline in you blood you may make stupid things. Do you really think that players just after winning or loosing Game 7 of SCF (by one goal) have any respect for each other? You're completely wrong if you think so. It does not mean that he has no respect for his peers in general. It also has nothing to do with "team-first" mentality of Crosby. He is that kind of player who not only plays better than anyone on his team but works harder too. Do not get me wrong... I do not like him at all. I also think Datsyuk is better both offensively and defensively. But I simply can't deny his talent and dedication to win not to just pump up his own statistics.

PS Indeed, Fedorov has an ego. He also did much more on the ice compared to Ovechkin's "skate and shoot".

Edited by RusDRW

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ironic that the common consensus on LGRW.COM would be that datsyuk is better then ovechkin... seems like the homerism is overpowering the logic.

ovechkin is 25 years old

datsyuk is 32

career points

for dats = 221 goals, 651 points in 662 games

for ovie = 301 goals 614 points in 475 games

in ovies 6 years in the league he has scored more then 50 goals 4 times, 1 of the 4 being a 65 goal season. in datsyuks 9 years with detroit, the most goals he has put up in a season was 32(08) which ties ovechkins lowest goal total since entering the league (2010). datsyuks 2nd most goals in a season is 31(07)... so if you add dats goal totals from 07 and 08 ovechkin still outscored him with just his 07 goal total. (32+31= 63, vs 65)some of you may say thats not fair, because dastyuk isn't a goal scorer... which is fine because we can also look at assists. datsyuks top season for assists was 66 in 07... ovechkin had 59 in 2010, just 7 less. dont see datsyuk doubling ovechkin in assists like ovechkin does datsyuk in goals most years.

datsyuk has never had a 100 point season (97 twice) at age 32 whereas ovechkin has 4 at age 25

ovechkin is 5th all time for regular season goals per game above bure and gretzky, behind lemieux and bossy.... good company.

4th on all time list of playoff points per games (ahead of messier and orr)

2nd in playoff goals per game behind super mario

7th all time in regular season points per game

could probably do this all day.... dont want to because pav is like my favorite player but its really not even that close on paper and thats just me being objective because i really dont like ovechkin all that much. as a red wing fan and a hockey fan its good to be objective about things becuase most people arent. (hence 95% of people on LGRW saying dats > ovie). i just dont think a poll of hfboards or nhl would show people unanimously agreeing that datsyuk is better then ovie.

Edited by DangleDangleBeach
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Ovie +88 in 475 games

Dats +187 in 662 games.

i think its really a matter of what one actually wants from a player. Pav was a 6th round pick, Ovi was a 1st overall.

you'd expect Ovi to put up the sort of numbers he has. From Dats draft year, only Lecavalier 1st overall,Tanguay 12th

overall,Gomez 27th overall and Richards who was a 3rd round pick have more points than Pav has up to now. The fact that

stands out more is the games played by these guys compared to Pav.

Vinny played 934 for his 793 points.

Alex played 818 for his 686 points.

Scott played 864 for his 675 points.

Brad played 772 for his 716 points.

Pav 662 games for 651 points.

Only Tanguay is anywhere near Pavs +- with a +155, Lecavalier,the 1st overall pick is a career -110!!

I do sometimes wonder what sort of stats Ovi would have had had we got him from the start?

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ironic that the common consensus on LGRW.COM would be that datsyuk is better then ovechkin... seems like the homerism is overpowering the logic.

..............................................................

i just dont think a poll of hfboards or nhl would show people unanimously agreeing that datsyuk is better then ovie.

I agree with you that a lot of us Wings fans are going to be a little bias, and pick our main man Pavel.... But I don't think the stats that you are throwing at us are the only one's that matter... Sure, goals and assists are damn important but that's not what Datsyuk is all about, he brings so much more to the table in my opinion....

You pointed out many stats where Ovechkin was dominant over Datsyuk but there are also many where Datsyuk is dominant over Ovechkin... here is just one stat that I'd like to throw out there... Takeaways / Giveaways

Pavel Datsyuk

2006-07 (107 / 86 = +21)

2007-08 (144 / 68 = +76)

2008-09 (89 / 50 = +39)

2009-10 (132 / 73 = +59)

2010-11 (71 / 38 = +33)

Total Past 5 years = +228

Alex Ovechkin

2006-07 (67 / 95 = -28)

2007-08 (68 / 93 = -25)

2008-09 (60 / 107 = -47)

2009-10 (66 / 76 = -10)

2010-11 (48 / 59 = -11)

Total Past 5 years = -121

Something else that needs to be taken in account is the fact that Pavel can and does play in ALL situations... Datsyuk plays even strength, power-play, penalty kill, and the last minute of every game when his team is up OR down a goal, whereas Ovechkin plays even strength, power-play and when his team is down a goal (basically just in offensive situations)

Ovechkin is a much more of an explosive offensive threat but Datsuk is much, much better over 200 feet of the ice and I'd take a player like Pav over Ovi any day...

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Something else that needs to be taken in account is the fact that Pavel can and does play in ALL situations... Datsyuk plays even strength, power-play, penalty kill, and the last minute of every game when his team is up OR down a goal, whereas Ovechkin plays even strength, power-play and when his team is down a goal (basically just in offensive situations)

Actually, Dats doesn't play that much on the penalty kill and Ovechkin ALWAYS plays the last minute of a game when his team is UP a goal.....not for defense though, he's out there because there is an empty net, so he's looking to pick up an empty net goal or point.

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Actually, Dats doesn't play that much on the penalty kill and Ovechkin ALWAYS plays the last minute of a game when his team is UP a goal.....not for defense though, he's out there because there is an empty net, so he's looking to pick up an empty net goal or point.

Did I say Datsyuk was our number one penalty killer? No... The point I'm making is that Pav can be counted on in ANY situation, on every inch of the ice... It's not like Babcock doesn't play him on the penalty kill because he doesn't think he can get the job done, he doesn't play him on the penalty kill because for 1.) our third and forth line guys are there for that reason and 2.) there is no need to waste Pav's energy on the pk when he is obviously much more of a threat even strength and pp... Anyone that thinks the guy that leads the league in takeaways every year isn't suited for the penalty kill is insane, although our go to guys on the pk are Helm, Eaves, Miller, Cleary, and Abby...

As for the second part, you are absolutely right, Ovechkin is put out in the last minute of the game a fair bit, but for all the wrong reasons... just to score that empty net goal. Bruce Boudreau is the biggest joke of a coach in the NHL... That's the difference between a great (Babcock) coach and a terrible (Boudreau) coach, one coach thinks team first while the other tries to get his top player more points...

And just one more thing I'd like to add to the debate... Pav is much more versatile, he can play both center and the wing, which is a huge plus being a forward... I give Ovechkin a lot of credit and I think he is an unbelievable hockey player but me personally, I'd take Pav over Ovi any day of the week. He is a much more well rounded player, is a much better team guy and has success to go along with it... Ovi is another guy like Kovalchuk, he'll always be a great player but will never win anything unless he changes his game...

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I know a lot of people are considering Datsyuk to be the best Russian hockey player right now and rightfully so, he was clearly better than Ovie this past season. However, if I had to pick between the two, I'd go with Ovechkin. Ovie isn't going to shutdown the other team's best forwards like Datsyuk, but Datsyuk isn't going to put up 50-60 goals a season either. Ovechkin had a down year this past season, but I think if you look at these players, in general, over the past 5 years, IMO, Ovechkin is the better player. There are times when we're behind by a goal and think to myself "Wouldn't it be great to just have a guy like 50 goal guy like Ovechkin to tie this up?" I understand that Datsyuk is great to have on the ice in the final minute when we're up by a goal, but you could just as easily have a checking center like a Draper (in his prime) or Helm filling that role.

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I've never seen Ovechkin on a penalty kill of any kind. I've seen Pasha out on 5-on-3 penalty kills, and he's done a fabulous job doing so. Say what you want, but when the chips are down in the last minutes of a game, I'll take an all-around player like Pasha six days a week and three times on Sunday. I don't see Ovechkin changing his game to include any semblance of defense whatsoever. Yeah, it's nice to have a 50-goal scorer, but if that is all you base your team's game on, you're screwed. Give me 20 guys like Pasha, and I'll show you what a winner is.

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I've never seen Ovechkin on a penalty kill of any kind. I've seen Pasha out on 5-on-3 penalty kills, and he's done a fabulous job doing so. Say what you want, but when the chips are down in the last minutes of a game, I'll take an all-around player like Pasha six days a week and three times on Sunday. I don't see Ovechkin changing his game to include any semblance of defense whatsoever. Yeah, it's nice to have a 50-goal scorer, but if that is all you base your team's game on, you're screwed. Give me 20 guys like Pasha, and I'll show you what a winner is.

this.

PS In my mind the closest player in terms of skill is Ales Hemsky. Unite them with Zetterberg and I think Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Hemsky would be unstoppable.

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Are you sure it's not #40? Z, not Dats, almost always gets the big defensive assignment.

I was gonna mention Z, but since this is about Russians and Dats is an absolute defensive beast and has the Selkes to prove it....ya.

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Datsyuk is a much smarter player, he has the hockey smarts Ovechkin could never dream of having. There is not a more complete player in the league than Datsyuk.

Edit:

Okay, like the majority of you I can not stand Crosby either but he plays a very good all around game and I have to give credit where credit is due.

Edited by cjm502

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Datsyuk is a much smarter player, he has the hockey smarts Ovechkin could never dream of having. There is not a more complete player in the league than Datsyuk.

Edit:

Okay, like the majority of you I can not stand Crosby either but he plays a very good all around game and I have to give credit where credit is due.

And since Crosby's a good ol' Moscowian boy and all...

Sorry about the sarcasm, but the topic is Best Current RUSSIAN Player.

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this.

PS In my mind the closest player in terms of skill is Ales Hemsky. Unite them with Zetterberg and I think Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Hemsky would be unstoppable.

hemsky is a fantastic speed winger. would be a sweet line no doubt, but id rather see a more pure sniper on that line. someone who all they do is get open and bomb rockets.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=569041&navid=mod-rr-headlines

ovi and dats made the list lol naturally

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And since Crosby's a good ol' Moscowian boy and all...

Sorry about the sarcasm, but the topic is Best Current RUSSIAN Player.

And I said:

There is not a more complete player in the league than Datsyuk.
I was saying Datsyuk was not only the best Russian, but the best worldwide.

After that I edited it and corrected myself, Crosby might be a better all around player. I know he is Canadian.

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I don't know where all this "Crosby is a complete player" talk comes from. I've watched a ton of Pens games and he is NOTHING like Zetterberg, Datsyuk or any other player that is very successful at both end of the ice. He doesn't back check, he doesn't block shots and the Penguins as a team, were much better defensively after he got injured. He's a points machine like Ovechkin and is by no means a "complete player".

Back on topic, Datsyuk is better defensively than Ovechkin, no doubt and you could make the argument that defense wins championships. But Ovechkin is better offensively and I could make the argument the more goals you score, the more likely you are to win. I think the talent level between Datsyuk and Ovechkin is very close and the fact that they excel at different aspects of the game, makes it difficult to determine who is better. This past year, Datsyuk definitely looked like the more talented player. He was better at what he does than Ovechkin at what he does this past season. But overall, in the past 5 years, Ovechkin is the more talented player. Datsyuk has 3 Selke trophies and 4 Lady Byng. Ovechkin has 1 Art Ross, 2 Harts, 3 NHLPA MVP awards (Lester B Pearson and Ted Lindsay), 1 Calder, and 2 Rocket Richard trophies. That's more MVP's and scoring titles than anyone else in the league. For me, that makes it very difficult to say someone else is better.

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