In the history of the NHL, there have always been debates about who the best player of their era is. For the longest time, people asked the question “Who is better, Mario Lemieux or Wayne Gretzky?” If you ask fans from their respective teams, you will hear all sorts of answers why one is better than the other.
On Saturday, the Tampa Bay Lightning will host the Pittsburgh Penguins. In this game, two of the best players in the league will face off against one another: Steven Stamkos for the Lightning and Sidney Crosby for the Penguins.
Now, I know that many people will say that Alex Ovechkin is the best player in the world and is way better than Crosby or Stamkos. There will even be people that will say that Evgeni Malkin is better than Crosby, and they are on the same team.
First off, as a Penguins fan, so I will never say, think, or consider Ovechkin to be better than Crosby. Second, I am not going to put two Penguins players into this article, so I chose the captain of the Pens, and that is Crosby.
Let’s look at these two players. Both of these players were selected first overall by their teams in the draft. Both players are the main focus of the opposing teams’ defenses during any game. Both teams will be representing Canada in the Winter Olympics this year in Russia.
Let’s first look at Stamkos. He has won two Rocket Richard Trophies for the most goals in the league. HE has been named to two All-Star games during those years. Stamkos have a pretty talented supporting cast in Tampa Bay with players like Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone.
Crosby, on the other hand, has been the face of the NHL since he was drafted in 2005 by the Penguins. Crosby has won one Art Ross Trophy for being the league’s top scorer and one Hart Trophy for being the league’s MVP, and should have won it this past season.
He has also won the Lester B. Pearson/Ted Lindsay Award twice for being voted by the NHLPA as being the best player in the NHL. To top all of these honors and awards, Crosby won The Stanley Cup in 2009 and the Gold Medal in hockey for Team Canada in 2010.
These two players are two of the best in the league, but by looking at the numbers and how these players play the game, I think there is no doubt that Crosby is the best player between these two players and the best player in the world period.
Crosby plays that game like no one else does or can. Crosby scores like the Great One and can play defense and back-check like a Selke Award winner. Stamkos is a great goal scorer, but is not the playmaker that Crosby is on the ice.
The game this Saturday will no doubt be an entertaining game between two teams that have some of the world’s best players. However, there is no denying that Crosby will be the best player playing in this game.