The key to this post, is to point out that there shouldn't be a debate. I started thinking about this while I was listening to Mark Madden on the radio, and he was discussing the debate about who is better. His point was to say that Sid is clearly playing better right now, and he believes that Sid is the better player overall, because even when he is in a point drought, he's doing the other little things that he can control (back-checking, grinding, leading, etc.), while when Geno has a point slump, the rest of his game goes down hill as well. I don't know if I completely agree with MM, as I think Geno is still one of the better turnover defenders in the NHL despite losing his scoring tough, but it's clear that he does try harder when the points aren't dropping, which leads to the simple mistakes. But the more important point Madden made, was that they are both great players, and it does us no good to put one down just to build the other one up.
I liked the way that sounded. Especially for us fans; little good can come out of this debate as a supporter. We should be pulling for both of them, and hoping they rank as the numbers 1 and 1a players in the world. There's nothing wrong with pointing out the flaws in a player's game, but a fan should not feel joy in seeing those flaws manifest themselves. I guess there is also nothing wrong with being a fan of a singular player (as Madden is with Big Ben), but if you're going to do that, then don't call yourself a Penguins' fan (just as Madden doesn't call himself a Steelers' fan).
I think this is what bothered so many people about Ron Cook's column, it's stirring up a lot of unnecessary conversation, and it's pitting Penguins' fans against each other. I guess Cook was just doing his job, which is to voice his opinion through his column (no matter how terrible he is at doing so). Again, I'm not going to get into why I disagree with the column, but I think Pens' fans should not buy into the debate (and I think that for the most part, no one takes Cook seriously- the guy has been to exactly one Pens game this season). I know I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I hope no one feels the need to root for one player or the other, but for the entire team. Let us hope that the Pens come out tonight and score a few Geno-Sid goals, and we can all tell Cook to STF.
On another note, I found this little tidbit to be quite compelling. Say what you want about Ovie, but I think this proves a few things: he is still a cheap-shot artist and will eventually end up costing someone their season with his knee-on-knee hits, he is too good of a player to be fighting, and he is still one tough SOB. Although, as the link points out, Sid is too good of a player to be fighting as well, but that has never stopped him from dropping the mitts. And to be quite honest, I would be pissed if someone pulled a Bradley and flew in like his mother. The point is, next time you hear a Caps fan call Sid a pus, just pull up this.