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number9

Best Current Russian Player

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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".

There is no question that Crosby is not as good defensively at this point than either Datysuk or Zetterberg, but there is also no question that he has improved that area of his game mostly every year. If you watch a lot of Pens games, I'm not sure how you could say that he doesn't back check....he actually does that very well. He's improved a lot in his own end as well, but that is probably the area he will be improving over the years as he gains experience (remember, he's almost 10 years younger than Datsyuk). Regarding the team being better defensively after he was hurt...haven't bothered checking, but assuming that is true, it makes perfect sense, they had no choice but to focus entirely on defense to try and win games.

Regarding blocked shots, here are some stats for you:

2008-09 season:

Crosby - 42 blocks, 77 games

Datsyuk - 33 blocks, 81 games

Zetterberg - 32 blocks, 77 games

2009-10 season:

Crosby - 43 blocks, 81 games

Datsyuk - 33 blocks, 80 games

Zetterberg - 34 blocks, 74 games

2010-11 season:

Crosby - 23 blocks, 41 games

Datsyuk - 20 blocks, 56 games

Zetterberg - 19 blocks, 80 games

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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.

EXACTLY

on your first paragraph....

crosby did actually have more blocked shots in his 41 games then pav or hank did last season for one... so he is blocking more shots in less games (zberg with 19 in 80, dats with 20 in 56, crosby with 23 in 41)

has a 55.6 f/o % taking 40.1% of his teams faceoffs (dats with 54.6 @ almost 24%, zberg with 52.4% with 20.6% of his teams total faceoffs)

zetterberg averages 37 seconds on the pk per game, datsyuk 39, crosby 28 seconds)

zberg was -1 last year, dats +11, crosby +20

crosby giveaways 29, zberg 60, datsyuk 38

crosby takeaways 15, zberg 54, datsyuk 71

crosby has improved his D since entering the league... though datsyuks takeaways show he is about 2x as lethal without the puck as crosby is (last year in 41 games, dats in 56)

-but other then that, crosby stacks up better in D cats then we would like to believe (though there arent many defensive stats, we have to work with what we have got)

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i think ovi brings some other defensive skills besides takeaways. the guy can hit pretty good, unlike dats, and id like to see his blocked shots...have no idea if theyre better than Z, crybaby, or dats

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i think ovi brings some other defensive skills besides takeaways. the guy can hit pretty good, unlike dats, and id like to see his blocked shots...have no idea if theyre better than Z, crybaby, or dats

I don't think most of Ovechkin's hits have anything to do with defense. Ovechkin's blocked shots were similar to Zetterberg last year I think, didn't check past years).

To be fair though, Ovechkin is a winger, he defensive responsibilities are not supposed to be the same as a centre. Centres should always be better defensively just simply because of the position.

I saw some people comment that they don't see Ovechkin in his own end digging pucks out of the corner, etc. That is to be expected though, his job in his end is to cover the defenseman at the point. Sometimes he doesn't do that all the time though as he tends to cherry pick quite a bit.

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There is no question that Crosby is not as good defensively at this point than either Datysuk or Zetterberg, but there is also no question that he has improved that area of his game mostly every year. If you watch a lot of Pens games, I'm not sure how you could say that he doesn't back check....he actually does that very well. He's improved a lot in his own end as well, but that is probably the area he will be improving over the years as he gains experience (remember, he's almost 10 years younger than Datsyuk). Regarding the team being better defensively after he was hurt...haven't bothered checking, but assuming that is true, it makes perfect sense, they had no choice but to focus entirely on defense to try and win games.

Very interesting numbers about the shot blocking. I can't recall seeing Crosby lay down on the ice or get into a position to block a shot, whereas I know I've seen Z do that many times. Makes me wonder what is considered to be a blocked shot. As for his backchecking, he doesn't do it. I've seen Staal, Letestu, Cooke, Talbot, even Kunitz tying up someone's stick in front of Fleury or breaking up a play. Maybe he's improving, but I don't notice his defensive play standing out enough to warrant being called a "complete player".

i think ovi brings some other defensive skills besides takeaways. the guy can hit pretty good, unlike dats, and id like to see his blocked shots...have no idea if theyre better than Z, crybaby, or dats

Ovechkin had 23 blocks last year and 20 the year before. As for hits, Ovi was 8th in the NHL with 241 hits last year. Dats had 54, Z had 38 and Crosby was on pace for 68. Not sure if that can be considered a defensive stat or not, but its something that Ovechkin brings that Datsyuk does not.

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Very interesting numbers about the shot blocking. I can't recall seeing Crosby lay down on the ice or get into a position to block a shot, whereas I know I've seen Z do that many times. Makes me wonder what is considered to be a blocked shot. As for his backchecking, he doesn't do it. I've seen Staal, Letestu, Cooke, Talbot, even Kunitz tying up someone's stick in front of Fleury or breaking up a play. Maybe he's improving, but I don't notice his defensive play standing out enough to warrant being called a "complete player".

Ovechkin had 23 blocks last year and 20 the year before. As for hits, Ovi was 8th in the NHL with 241 hits last year. Dats had 54, Z had 38 and Crosby was on pace for 68. Not sure if that can be considered a defensive stat or not, but its something that Ovechkin brings that Datsyuk does not.

yeah i guess i shouldnt have called it "defensive" but 241 hits is alot of hits! especially compared to Z and Dats...thats gotta be a plus in ovi's department

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Okay, so we have all these stats and facts that we use to argue our points. But there is something else to take into consideration as well. It's called intangibles.

It's hard for me to explain what intangibles Pasha brings to the table, but you know in your heart that they exist. It's what brings his game up to the next level, and makes him that much more valuable. You can't put a finger on it, but you know it's there and without it, he's just another player. I've never found those intangibles in Ovechkin. I'm sure they are there, but I've not seen them.

I don't know if that makes sense or not, but take it for what it's worth.

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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.

Acually there was a poll on cbc voted by players I believe. I dont remeber if dats was voted the best player in the NHL if not then he was right behind Crosby and way ahead of OVI and others.

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EXACTLY

on your first paragraph....

crosby did actually have more blocked shots in his 41 games then pav or hank did last season for one... so he is blocking more shots in less games (zberg with 19 in 80, dats with 20 in 56, crosby with 23 in 41)

has a 55.6 f/o % taking 40.1% of his teams faceoffs (dats with 54.6 @ almost 24%, zberg with 52.4% with 20.6% of his teams total faceoffs)

zetterberg averages 37 seconds on the pk per game, datsyuk 39, crosby 28 seconds)

zberg was -1 last year, dats +11, crosby +20

crosby giveaways 29, zberg 60, datsyuk 38

crosby takeaways 15, zberg 54, datsyuk 71

crosby has improved his D since entering the league... though datsyuks takeaways show he is about 2x as lethal without the puck as crosby is (last year in 41 games, dats in 56)

-but other then that, crosby stacks up better in D cats then we would like to believe (though there arent many defensive stats, we have to work with what we have got)

You do realize that plus-minus has no real meaning? And beyond that, that giveaway and takeaway stats are not representative of defense? Or shooting percentage of a player's shooting ability. For example, Z took tons of shots last year, often putting the puck on net in low quality chances. There would also have been many shots of his that were simply blocked or missed the net, and counted as giveaways. Ovechkin faces the same kind of situation. Take a lot of shots, you'll probably see a lot of giveaways to your credit. Takeaways are more accurately defensive, but are we playing defense with the stick or the body? What happens if we force a turnover instead of stripping the puck?

Stats can be misleading if you believe them to mean something they don't. Especially if used by someone to display a particular belief.

Namingway and number9 like this

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Stats can be misleading if you believe them to mean something they don't. Especially if used by someone to display a particular belief.

Gold. :ph34r:

Edited by CaliWingsNut

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Okay, so we have all these stats and facts that we use to argue our points. But there is something else to take into consideration as well. It's called intangibles.

It's hard for me to explain what intangibles Pasha brings to the table, but you know in your heart that they exist. It's what brings his game up to the next level, and makes him that much more valuable. You can't put a finger on it, but you know it's there and without it, he's just another player. I've never found those intangibles in Ovechkin. I'm sure they are there, but I've not seen them.

I don't know if that makes sense or not, but take it for what it's worth.

they both bring different intangibles....datsyuk has things like crazy dekes that you can record on stats....and ovechkin plays a more intimidating hardnose style that you cant account for in stats

xtrememachine1 likes this

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Okay, so we have all these stats and facts that we use to argue our points. But there is something else to take into consideration as well. It's called intangibles.

It's hard for me to explain what intangibles Pasha brings to the table, but you know in your heart that they exist. It's what brings his game up to the next level, and makes him that much more valuable. You can't put a finger on it, but you know it's there and without it, he's just another player. I've never found those intangibles in Ovechkin. I'm sure they are there, but I've not seen them.

I don't know if that makes sense or not, but take it for what it's worth.

I believe it is called "bias" or some may use the phrase "being a homer" :P

they both bring different intangibles....datsyuk has things like crazy dekes that you can record on stats....and ovechkin plays a more intimidating hardnose style that you cant account for in stats

I think you may misunderstand the term "intangible." What you have described for both are "tangible" traits. Just because something doesn't show up in "stats" doesn't mean it's intangible.

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I beg to differ. The things that Pasha brings to the table are things that you cannot measure by stats. And though you might accuse me of "homerism" or "bias", I still believe that there are qualities and characteristics that cannot be measured in stats.

But, as I say, take it for what it's worth, which in my case isn't a whole lot.

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I beg to differ. The things that Pasha brings to the table are things that you cannot measure by stats. And though you might accuse me of "homerism" or "bias", I still believe that there are qualities and characteristics that cannot be measured in stats.

But, as I say, take it for what it's worth, which in my case isn't a whole lot.

But what are these "things" you speak of? When someone really thinks a particular player is better than an other for some reason, but they just can't put their finger on it, it's usually because of "bias"....for whatever reason, you just "like" one player more, so you will trick yourself into thinking he's better. This is fact and it's impossible to avoid bias in this case.

I'm not saying Datsyuk doesn't have more intangibles than Ovechkin, but if you can't really determine what it is, it's probably bias.

The most common intangible I can think of is leadership. I don't see Datsyuk as some ultimate leader, but he certainly appears to have much more leadership capabilities than Ovechkin (but that could change over time).

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If I could explain it, I'd be a genius.

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OP should add a poll so we get a generalization of the results. I think Pasha is the better overall player, even he still makes us Red Wings fans say wow after we seen him do so much that is already ridiculous.

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