The comparisons are likely to be made for the remainder of their careers and Alex Ovechkin seems to have come to terms with that.
But when Ovechkin faces off against Sidney Crosby tonight for the first time since the Winter Classic, hell do so carrying a burden unfamiliar to him.
While Crosby seems to have taken his game to another level even after missing 61 games with a concussion Ovechkin seems to have stagnated.
Crosby enters tonights game with 11 points in just five games. Ovechkin has 18 points in 23 games and has dealt with accusations of being the primary reason Bruce Boudreau was fired at the start of the week.
Ovechkin says hes happy to see Crosby back in action, but admitted growing tired of the comparisons.
Im 26, hes 24, Ovechkin said. Were not young anymore. We play different positions and were on different teams. Everybody will always be comparing, but I dont pay attention to what you or what anybody else is going to say about his game or my game. I dont listen to that.
The only person Ovechkin needs to listen to these days is Dale Hunter and the new Capitals coach said he plans on pumping up his captains ice time well above the 16:46 he played in Tuesday nights 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Hell see how (Hunter) coaches and what hes going to demand out of him and were going to see, I believe Alex play as hard as ever has, said Capitals assistant coach Dean Evason. Weve already seen glimpses of it in (Hunters) first game and in practice. Alex is still a great player, he just has to get back to working the way he always has to allow him to be successful and score goals.
As for his rivalry with Crosby and the Penguins, Ovechkin said hes happy to renew it. One thing is for sure. The two bring our the best in each other. In 25 career games against the Pens, Ovechkin has 19 goals and 14 assists for 33 points.
Crosby has 13 goals and 22 assists for 25 points in 21 games.
Its good for the league and for everybody wanting him to come back, Ovechkin said. It gives more attention to the game, especially with him back from a concussion. Its not the attention it used to be, but its going to be a good game and we have to win the battles.
Ovechkin then turned into an NHL sound bite, saying tonight is more about the Capitals righting a ship that has gone south.
Were the group of guys who are trying to make some history, he said. Its all about us.