CHICAGO – Since joining the NHL in 2005, Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals have battled each other to score titles, individual awards and glory after the season.
But as the generation’s talents enter their 17th season together, Crosby said he rooted his rival to make hockey history and beat Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky’s career with a record 894 goals.
“I hope he does. I told him today that I hope he does,” said Crosby, who participated in the NHL Players Media Tour in Chicago with Ovechkin. “That would be great. He’s within reach.”
Ovechkin, 35, enters the 2021-22 season with 730 goals in 1,197 career games. He signed a five-year contract extension with the capitals in the offseason. Given his scoring average, there is a chance he could break the record in this time period.
“I’m not even thinking about it right now, to be honest,” Ovechkin said this week. “Because it’s too far. It’s far. And it’s a hard road. Whatever happens, it’s happening.”
Crosby, 34, believes the way Ovechkin scores his goals – depending on his shot rather than agility – gives him a chance to be productive late in his career.
“He can score anywhere from inside the blue line,” he said.
But Crosby’s enthusiasm for Ovechkin’s hunt for Gretzky has its limitations, as the capitals and penguins resume fierce rivals.
“I just hope all of his goals he gets are against the other teams as he tries to add that,” Crosby said.