HBO just spent a month following around the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, focusing on Crosby versus Ovechkin. It's the latest installment of HBO's "24/7" and it's titled Hard Knocks and the four-part series kicks off tonight.
Then there's the appearance in the latest issue of Vanity Fair where the two are interviewed about the Winter Classic and the 'rivalry' between the two. There's also a video from the photo shoot where the two awkwardly shake hands and read a book, which can be found on nhl.com
The NHL has sent the two "rivals" (and for whatever reason, Jeremy Roenick as well) to The Price is Right where they'll help showcase a trip to the Winter Classic. Throughout all the stories I'm seeing, they call Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby's 'nemisis'.
And yet.... I'm not so sure Ovechkin is really a worthy nemesis to be honest. I would call Steven Stamkos a nemesis. Steven Stamkos tied Crosby for the Rocket Richard trophy and is at 44 points this season. Can I mention Steven Stamkos was born in 1990... 1990!!!!
I mean lets take a look at the comparison between Crosby and Ovechkin, not that 36 points on the season is chump change -- but he's not exactly on the furied pace that Crosby is. (Let's not mention the Olympic appearance - or lackthereof - of Ovechkin.)
Crosby is on a point streak that spans 18 games, meanwhile by Ovechkin standards -- he's struggling.
How much more exciting would this "rivalry" be if it happened in a season where both players were playing at the top of their game? Don't get me wrong, I'm going to watch on New Year's Day. In just a few years the Winter Classic has become a tradition. However, it kinda seems like the NHL is forcing it just a bit.
Jennifer Casey was born and raised in Halifax. She loves all sports but tries to stick to writing about hockey for sanity purposes. You can follow her on twitter @jenncaseyhfx or find her on her blog National Passtime