By: Glenn Kaplan, Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com
For the past decade, the talk of the NHL universe has been Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are still talked about often as the top two players in the league, but is it already time to pass the torch to Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Ovechkin is 33 years old and he was the number one overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft. He has won one Stanley Cup title, one Conn Smythe Trophy, has led the league in goals seven times, three Hart Trophies and three Ted Lindsay Awards.
Crosby is 31 years old and he was the number one overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft. He has won three Stanley Cup titles, two Conn Smythe Trophies, has led the league in goals twice, has won two Hart Trophies and has won the Ted Lindsay Award three times.
Many people view Crosby as the best player in the world, but he thinks that title already belongs to McDavid.
That is a ton of respect shown by Crosby because he has won many awards before. McDavid is just 21 years old and he was the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. McDavid has scored over 100 points the past two seasons. He has won the Ted Lindsay Award the past two seasons, and he won the Hart Trophy in 2017.
In just five games so far this season, Connor McDavid has scored four goals and recorded seven assists. His plus/minus is 1. His skating ability and IQ are on another level right now. McDavid makes his teammates better.
Auston Matthews was selected first overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. He is more of a goal scorer than a playmaker, but Matthews can also pass the puck at a high level. He is only 21 years old. In eight games so far this season, Matthews has scored 10 goals and recorded six assists. His plus/minus is -2.
The reason why Crosby and Ovechkin have been the talk of the league for the past decade or so is because they are the top two players in the league at the moment and have met in the postseason four times. They also play in the same division and they usually meet at least four times a season.
When it comes to McDavid and Matthews, they will be the main talk of the league in a year or two. The problem is they will only play each other twice a year. The only way they could play each other in the playoffs is in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Matthews and McDavid haven’t had their names engraved on the Stanley Cup yet. However, since Crosby mentioned that he thinks McDavid is the best in the world, the torch has been officially passed by him.