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Crosby Or Toews?

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

The whispers and questions about Sidney Crosby have begun. Is Sid the Kid still the best hockey player in the world?

Seems sacrilege even to debate it.

But not the way he and the Penguins are performing lately.

And not the way Jonathan Toews is playing. Toews may well overtake Crosby for the title these playoffs.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonathan+toews, sidney+crosby

Comments

Red Winger's avatar

Ginger, or Mary Ann?

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 05/13/14 at 12:55 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

When it comes to raw talent, Crosby has the edge. When it comes to regular season numbers, Crosby has a big edge. But when it comes to getting it done and leading your team when it really matters, Toews doesn’t just have the edge - he blows Crosby out of the water.

Interestingly, both of them are prone to irritation and falling apart at times when they play - a trait lacking in most of the truly great hockey leaders like Yzerman, Messier, Sakic, Lidstrom, etc. But the difference between Toews and Crosby is that Toews pulls it together when he needs to (e.g. last year’s second round matchup against the Wings) and Crosby doesn’t. Crosby gets caught up in the mind games and games-within-the-game and once he’s ensnared, you rarely see him re-emerge.

And all this talk of Crosby being “Un-Crosby-like” just isn’t true - he’s always been this way. People who have observed him throughout his career can all tell you that this is entirely typical of him. If you just look at scoresheets and NBC promos, it seems atypical. But if you watch him, this is what he does. I’ve been saying for years that Crosby isn’t a good leader, and I’m relieved to see that people are finally starting to recognize this after many years of vanishing when it counts and falling apart mentally in the process. Crosby should never be giving people nut shots and that kind of crap after the whistles. He should buck up and skate away like the real leaders do. A big part of why people target Crosby is because they know it works. He has thin skin and unravels when people dig at him over the course of a playoff series. And when you, as the team captain, start to fall apart, it trickles down through the lineup. We’ve seen this several times with him - perhaps never more so than in the 2012 series against the Flyers.

Crosby is the most talented player in the world, and while he still has room and time to grow and mature, I wouldn’t pick him as the best. Give me a guy who elevates his game when it counts the most any day.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 05/13/14 at 02:22 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by jaromirblogger on 05/13/14 at 02:22 PM ET

yep

Posted by awould on 05/13/14 at 02:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I don’t know. Roughly at this same time last year it would have been the complete opposite answer but for pretty much the same reasons.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/13/14 at 02:45 PM ET

awould's avatar

I don’t know. Roughly at this same time last year it would have been the complete opposite answer but for pretty much the same reasons.

In mid-2nd round, sure. But Crosby was a giant bagel against Boston and his team was swept, and Toews team won the Cup while actually contributing goals and assists against the same Boston team. Not that Toews lit it up during the playoffs, but I’ll take his two-way play and effort over Crosby in the playoffs.

Of course, Crosby could turn it around and Toews could be rendered ineffective and blow his lid. I’d prefer to see both neutered in their remaining games and sitting on the sidelines for Rd 3.

Posted by awould on 05/13/14 at 03:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Of course, Crosby could turn it around and Toews could be rendered ineffective and blow his lid. I’d prefer to see both neutered in their remaining games and sitting on the sidelines for Rd 3.

I agree with you on both counts, but I also think that the Blackhawks are simply a better team than the Penguins and, given the same personnel surrounding Crosby (including behind the benches and up in the GM’s suite), you’d get similar results.

Chicago’s depth is better, their defense is better, their wingers are better, their goaltender is better and (although I hate to say this), their coach is better.

If Chicago had the opportunity to trade Toews for Crosby, they should.

Hell, maybe Marian Hossa would finally get the serious Selke consideration he’s deserved.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/13/14 at 03:32 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/13/14 at 03:32 PM ET

I agree. Crosby is a better all-around player and probably easier to shut him down with him playing for Pittsburgh than it would be with a deeper Blackhawks team. I hate Crosby more though and that’s the crux of my argument. I am aware that it is not a strong argument.

Posted by awould on 05/13/14 at 04:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I hate Crosby more though and that’s the crux of my argument. I am aware that it is not a strong argument.

I think the fact that you’re honest about that makes it an incredibly strong argument. I think I hate the two equally (Crosby for being anointed as hockey’s savior and Toews for the incessant comparisons to Steve Yzerman).  I don’t know though.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/13/14 at 04:18 PM ET

awould's avatar

Toews for the incessant comparisons to Steve Yzerman

I used to buy into that about 90% until the Wings/Hawks series last year when Toews lost his composure so badly. He’s a good Captain but pretty far from one of the greats. Sadly, if they win another Cup w/ him as Captain, history will rank him right up there.

Crosby, as is right, will never be ranked up there. Unless they win at least 1 more Cup, his career will be seen as missed potential. Not a failure, certainly, because his stats are excellent, and the concussions will be the giant asterisk covering his lack of Cups to some degree. He’ll be a hall of famer. But he’ll never be uttered in the same sentence as the great leaders like Gretzky or Lemieux or even Yzerman. Not by anyone serious. Cups count.

Posted by awould on 05/13/14 at 04:26 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Crosby Or Toews?

This is like comparing apples to oranges. They’re each at the top of separate categories. Everyone knows that Toes is the biggest whiner and Crysbaby is, well, the biggest crybaby. [/discussion]

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 05/13/14 at 06:19 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Toews for the incessant comparisons to Steve Yzerman

Zetterberg is far more like Yzerman than Toews will ever be.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 05/13/14 at 06:22 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

  Crosby Or Toews?

This is like comparing apples to oranges. They’re each at the top of separate categories. Everyone knows that Toes is the biggest whiner and Crysbaby is, well, the biggest crybaby. [/discussion]

Actually I believe Towes has replaced Crosby as Captain Whiner. They both whine, but I watched the stick work by Columbus and the N.Y. Rangers on Crosby during these playoffs. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but I don’t blame Crosby for his retaliation. Of course he is playing right into his opponents strategy, and that’s why Pittsburgh won’t win the Cup.

Posted by bigfrog on 05/13/14 at 08:58 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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