The preliminaries of the Winter Olympic Games men’s ice hockey tournament are over. Starting on Tuesday, it’s for real. But while we have this brief hiatus in the Games, consider two players.
Player A is a forward. He has averaged 15:43 of ice time through three games so far. He has two points, which happen to be points earned in the only goals scored for his team while he was on ice. He has not been on ice for a goal against in more than 47 minutes of ice time (second among forwards on his team in total ice time). The result is that he is a plus-2 in three games.
Player B is a forward. He has averaged 20:35 in ice time through three games. He has two points, half of the total his team has scored when he has been on ice, the four goals for being tops on his team. He has not been on ice for a goal against in almost 62 minutes of ice time (only three forwards in the tournament have more ice time). He is a plus-2 after three games (both of his team’s power play goals came when he was on ice).
Player A’s contributions to his team are “immeasurable.” He is being sacrificed for the greater good of winning.
For Player B, his perplexing Olympic slump continues.
Player A is Sidney Crosby.
Player B is Alex Ovechkin.
The world is a small place. The same narratives can be found anywhere in it you look.