For the first time since 2009, the NHL’s biggest stars — Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin — will meet in a postseason series. The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins open their second-round series on Thursday night in what many feel is a de facto conference championship, as these teams finished 1-2 in the East but because of the NHL’s asinine playoff system, this is when they play.

While this series will be a treat for even the most casual hockey fan, it will also serve as a referendum in the Crosby vs. Ovechkin debate for the Internet’s hottest hot takers. We, as a civilization, need closure on who is the best player in the NHL today and some feel the outcome of this series may give us that satisfying answer.

They are wrong.

There’s no may about it; these seven games out of the thousands they will combine to play in their careers will absolutely determine once and for all who is the superior individual hockey player.

If you need help preparing for the oncoming storm of opinions and wish to know how you can determine who is better for yourself, please examine the following scenarios involving the Capitals and Penguins this week.

 

1. The Capitals defeat the Penguins in four games. Ovechkin is held without a shot in nearly 100 minutes of ice time while Crosby has seven goals and 11 assists in four games.

Who is the superior player: Ovechkin
Why: Yeah, averaging nearly five points per game is probably some sort of postseason record, but if Crosby is better, why did his team lose this series? The fact that Ovechkin sacrificed his offensive numbers to help his team win four straight proves that he is not just better than Crosby but he is also an elite leader.

 

2. Crosby decides to sit the entire series in protest as a way to raise awareness about climate change. “If the ice continues to melt,” Crosby says, “how will our children play hockey?” Ovechkin has four goals and three assists in seven games but fails to score on a penalty shot in overtime in Game 7. Two minutes later, Eric Fehr wins it for Pittsburgh.

Who is the superior player: Crosby
Why: Are you kidding? Crosby provided the inspiration required to lift his team in the series and did his part to shed light on an issue that could impact hockey, the greatest game in the world that he would please ask you to like. If Ovechkin were a winner, he would have scored on that penalty shot against Tom Barrasso, who was signed to replace Matt Murray and Jeff Zatkoff after Game 3.

 

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 9, 2016 in New York City. The Capitals defeated the Rangers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 09: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 9, 2016 in New York City. The Capitals defeated the Rangers 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

3. As the puck drops for Game 7, Crosby and Ovechkin drop the gloves and square off in a 14-minute fight. Crosby drops Ovechkin with a left hook but before the linesmen can step in, Ovechkin rises to his skates and crushes Crosby with an uppercut. Both collapse onto each other exhausted. Neither player touches the ice for the rest of the game.

Who is the superior player: Ovechkin
Why: Because two minutes later, Jay Beagle scored to make it 1-0. The Capitals go on to lose the game, 9-1, but the fact that Ovechkin set the tone and swung momentum for 1/30th of the game, while Crosby did no such thing with his fists makes Ovechkin the better player.

 

4. Through six games, Ovechkin has 10 goals, Crosby just two. But before Game 7, Ovechkin is kidnapped and held for ransom. He attempts to escape but while doing so, he falls from a rooftop and breaks his left leg. The game goes on without him, and the Caps win 4-3 despite Ovechkin’s absence.

Who is the superior player: Crosby
Why: A player that doesn’t bother to show up for Game 7s will never be considered better than one who does.

 

5. An alien spaceship hovers over Verizon Center. It abducts only Ovechkin and Crosby and takes them to the planet Jarglon 9. There, Ovechkin and Crosby are forced to battle in a game of Flark Roggin, which is the brutal death sport played on Jarglon 9. Despite being reticent at first, both men fight for their lives. The duel ends with Ovechkin impaling Crosby on the shaft of his conewrocksin and the two are returned to Earth.

Who is the superior player: Ovechkin
Why: It’s not because Ovechkin won; it’s because you could totally tell Crosby was embellishing when the conewrocksin pierced his abdomen and he started crying.

 

6. A Japanese crime lord forces Crosby to carry illegal drugs in his stomach. The drugs leak, which allows Crosby to slowly gain use of 100 percent of his brain. Before he even reaches 15 percent, he becomes aware of the fact that hockey is a silly game and that he should dedicate his remaining time on the planet to improving the welfare of others. But before he can, Ovechkin hits Crosby in the head with an illegal elbow to reverse the effects of the drugs. Capitals win in six games.

Who is the superior player: Ovechkin
Why: Sorry, but players that ingest illegal narcotics must be held accountable, even if they are subject to the ridiculous story contained within the movie Lucy.

 

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 21:  Forward Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates as forward Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends on January 21, 2010 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH – JANUARY 21: Forward Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates as forward Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins defends on January 21, 2010 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

7. Game 7 goes to overtime. Crosby and Ovechkin both have four goals and five assists apiece. As a form of protest against the constant, unfair scrutiny they face, the teams decide to let Game 7 extend for eternity. Crosby and Ovechkin perform a beautiful ice dance in which they show the grace of swans. After 11 overtimes and 220 minutes of performance art, the game is ruled a tie and both teams are ruled to be eliminated from the postseason.

Who is the superior player: Crosby
Why: This tie simply means Ovechkin has faced Crosby twice and never won.