The Crosby-Ovechkin Feud: Game On, Again

As my friend John Press wrote over at Japers' Rink earlier today, on one level, yesterday's game between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins was just another two points in the standings. For Pittsburgh, it was a lost opportunity to pick up points in a season where those opportunities are beginning to run out. For the Washington Capitals, it was an opportunity to efficiently put away an opponent that you know you can beat. ↵

↵The result: a tidy, but hardly mistake-free 5-2 victory for Washington as they climbed back into second place in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind East-leading Boston. The win was Washington's third in three tries against the Penguins this season, and marks the first time since the 2002-03 that Washington has come out on top of the season series with the Penguins. ↵

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↵But on another level, what we saw yesterday was the re-ignition of what a lot of folks have called a media-driven rivalry between Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Washington's Alex Ovechkin. In the past, both parties have sought to downplay any real or imagined rivalry between the two. But then this happened during the second period: ↵

↵ ↵
↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
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↵After the game, both parties decided to pour some more gasoline onto to the fire, with Crosby saying he didn't like Ovechkin's goal scoring celebrations, while Ovechkin said that while Crosby might be a good player that he "talks too much." ↵

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↵Funny, but we never heard much from Crosby on Ovechkin's celebrations when he and the Penguins dominated the series between the two teams over their first three seasons together in the league. ↵

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↵Safe to say, the turnabout has been a welcome one in Washington. As somebody who has been watching the Caps for close to 24 years, it's a welcome relief to see them turn the tables after being the Pittsburgh's plaything ever since they first met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs back in 1991. From there on in, with one exception, postseason meetings with the Pens presaged nothing but heartbreak, and the faithful in Washington aren't so willing to forgive and forget. ↵

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↵For those of you who don't want to miss the next chapter, be sure to mark down March 8 in your calendar for when the Penguins make their next and final visit to Washington during the regular season. As for the playoffs ... we should only be so lucky. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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