Both previously attended Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Boarding School in Minnesota. Both three-time Stanley Cup Champions. Both two-time gold medalists, representing team Canada in the Olympics.
Where is the divide? Who is better than the other? Who will be the better Center and Captain when all is said and done? This article will try and show the divide and leave the discussion of which is better than the other, open.
These two superstars are at the top of their class and elite in the way they represent themselves on and off the ice. Their skills and leadership are unmatched and unparalleled.
Crosby – 782 games / 382 goals, 645 assists, 1027 points (as of 2016-17 season)
Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, he entered the league in 2005. From his entrance, Crosby has been held to the highest standard in the NHL.
Every night, all eyes were on 87 in black and gold. Which they should have been. Moves like this and that, show the explosive speed and soft hands of one of the best players not only in the current NHL but hockey history.
Coming out of one of the United States premier hockey schools, Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Boarding School in Minnesota, Crosby created so much buzz before the draft that it was essentially called a contest to who would take him first overall. The Pittsburgh Penguins selected him with the first overall pick, and from there, it was history.
In four of his first five seasons, Crosby eclipsed 100 points. Along the way, he secured multiple Calder trophies and ultimately his first lift of the Stanley Cup trophy in 2008-09. Over the next few seasons, after his first Stanley Cup victory, injuries, primarily concussions left him sidelined for most the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
Once healthy, Crosby came back to his old ways of dancing around defenders and using his accurate wrist shot to climb up the points sheet. Climbing up the score sheet he did, achieving 1000 points in 757 games.
Over the course of his 10-year career, Crosby has changed the game of hockey. His pace to becoming one of the greatest in the game will only increase as we are in the midst of his prime potential.
Crosby will be in this league for a long time to come still, barring any more head injuries. Still, the dominating presence of Crosby will always be there, his decisive playstyle and quick decision making coupled with more and more experience of being in the league will further his place in the history of the NHL.
Outside of hockey, Crosby gives back to his community in both his hometown of Cole Harbour, but also the community of Pittsburgh. In this article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, it showcases the different stories of Crosby’s charity work and instances where the captain gave back to the fans.
Toews – 717 games / 272 goals, 350 assists, 622 points (as of 2016-17 season)
Captain of Chicago Blackhawks, Toews has rejuvenated the Chicago Blackhawks team with his leadership skills and two-way play. Toews was the heart and soul of the three Stanley Cup runs, with not only a stellar but underappreciated regular season, but high-intensity performances in the playoffs.
Another thing that makes Toews such an incredible leader is his commitment to his teammates, like this clip where he went to war with St. Louis Blues center David Backes, after a dicey hit on teammate Niklas Hjalmarsson.
Drafted third overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, The Winnipeg native was the second youngest captain in NHL history, behind Crosby. He has never posted a 100 point season but he has averaged a few things slightly better than Crosby.
In the faceoff percentage category, Toews edges Crosby, 56.8% to 52.1%. Additionally, Toews also has the upper hand in takeaways, a showing of the relentless pursuit for the puck to create better chances, 573 to Crosby’s 331.
Toews won his first Stanley Cup in 2010, then again in 2013 and 2015. In back-to-back-to-back years, Toews raised two Stanley Cup trophies and secured a gold medal for Canada, alongside Crosby, at the Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
Toews is regarded as an all-around player, with both leadership skills on and off the ice. He frequently helps out with the Make-a-Wish foundation, granting wishes to those in need. In this clip from NHL’s Youtube page, Toews granted a wish to a four-year-old during the time of the Winter Classic in 2014.