For some hockey fans, Connor McDavid is the best player in the world. Only 20, McDavid led the NHL in points (100) and assists (70) this season and will only get better in the years ahead.
But for Scott Ferrall, McDavid isn’t No. 1 in the world. Sidney Crosby is.
And Greg Wyshynsky agrees.
“First of all, (Crosby is) still the best player in the world,” the Yahoo! Puck Daddy analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “McDavid still has to learn how to play some defense. Sid had to do the same thing when he was a younger player. When he was first coming up, he was the total package offensively, but he couldn’t win a face-off. Then he learned how to do that and he learned how to (do) some of the other nuances on the defensive end. So McDavid is in the same spot. He’s got to round out his game before he can try to claim that throne.”
Crosby led the NHL in goals (44) this season and finished tied for second in points (89) with Patrick Kane. He also has Pittsburgh one win away from its second Stanley Cup Final in as many seasons.
Crosby, 29, has seven goals and 12 assists in the playoffs despite getting harassed seemingly every second he’s on the ice.
“I don’t think people recognize how much abuse Sid takes,” Wyshynski said, “but I do think people have come around to the idea that he’s a generational talent. The last year for this guy has been one of the best years for any player in the last 30 years. I think Sid’s got a lot more fans in the media than he’s had in previous years. There was a time when Sid was the whiner and all this other stuff. It’s gotten to the point where he’s one of the elder statesmen in the league as far as the stars go, and I feel like there’s been a reassessment of Sidney Crosby – to the point where when it looks like he might get knocked out with an injury, nobody wants that to happen to this guy because they want him on the ice.”
Pittsburgh will host Ottawa in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will play Nashville for the Stanley Cup.