Well, Ovechkin wasn't the only Russian taking a pot shot at the Penguins' superstar this week, as Thrashers sniper (and one of Ovechkin's friends) Ilya Kovalchuk weighed in on the whole controversy, dismissing Crosby's complaints about Ovechkin's physical style of play during the game.
In a interview with Russian-language SovSport (and translated by Puck Daddy), Kovalchuk wasn't vague on what he thought about Crosby's recent actions.
Not long ago Washington played Pittsburgh. And Alex Ovechkin showed a sign to Crosby that might have meant less talk. Did he learn it from you? I remember that when [during one game] Crosby was given a penalty and you scored a goal, you pointed at him with your glove, and that gesture became famous in Atlanta.As the reporter noted, Kovalchuk and Crosby had a little battle during a game in January 2006, during Crosby's rookie season. After the two players engaged in a couple of skirmishes in the contest, Crosby was whistled for slashing Kovalchuk. On the ensuing power play, Kovalchuk buried a shot from the point, then turned around and pointed right at Crosby coming out of the box.
KOVALCHUK: "These are emotions. Ovechkin did everything right. [You] have to play hockey. Show on the ice what you are capable of. And the weak talk a lot. Ovechkin proved everything - scored a goal and Washington won. He had a full right to his gesture."
Crosby said that Ovechkin is a dirty player...
KOVALCHUK: "Then no one at all should play hockey! The rules in the NHL after the lockout changed considerably. Let Crosby see how [players] played in the league before. Ovechkin's style is emotional, clean hockey. That's why he is the best player in the NHL right now."
Kovalchuk also wasn't the only player who took a shot at Crosby this week, as Blackhawks winger Adam Burish also made some choice comments on the star possibly missing last night's game in Chicago.
It should just add to the whole debate raging about Crosby around the game with another meeting of the game's top two icons on tap next week in Washington. Although it sure would be interesting if the Penguins were one of the teams looking to add Kovalchuk next week before the deadline.