Tell Ovechkin I’m Done!
I loved the guy. He reminded me so much of my other hero, Muhammad Ali. Brash, energetic and in-your-face type of guy. Watching him play made my heart beat faster. He was like a wizard with the puck. He would do anything to get it into the opposition’s net. He was my type of guy. Sidney who? That wimp couldn’t hold a candle to the Great 8, Ovie.
Then just like that, without warning, it seemed like the wheels fell off the Ovechkin train. The first season it happened, the excuses were many. He was playing hurt. The team had changed to a more defensive style of hockey. The next season with a new coach with a different system still did not get the train back on track. Was I witnessing the premature decline of my hero? Did he peak too soon? I didn’t know what to think. Fast forward to present day.
About a week ago, I went to see the shell of the Great 8 play the Winnipeg Jets. I was focused on him as I wanted to see if I could notice anything different. I did. Well what I saw was troubling. As his teammates practiced, Ovie stretched. And stretched some more. Then he went back on the bench to take care of his laces that suddenly needed attention. Then he came back over the boards and stretched some more. He took a shot with no real enthusiasm then tested the boards by bumping against it. The captain Ovechkin was the laziest man on the ice!
When his team came out to start the game, Ovechkin made a beeline for the bench and was the first and only player sitting as his teammates made a warmup lap. (Oh, he was also the first to leave the ice after the initial warmup). Something seemed wrong. I had the impression that Ovie did not want to be playing hockey. His body language screamed that he’d rather be doing something else than play hockey. Probably rather be spending time with his tennis player girlfriend, Maria Kirilenko. Whatever it was, it had taken an immense toll on the man many considered to be the next big thing in hockey. Gone was the brash kid who knocked over any player who dared to stand in his way. A couple of games ago, he attempted to throw a hip check at an opposing player entering his zone. He then backed off at the last second and allowed the player to go in and eventually set up a goal. The player who scored ‘the goal’ while sliding on his backside and many other highlight reel goals have left the building, folks. The player who was considered by many, including yours truly, to be better than Crosby, is now not even worthy of tying The Kid’s laces. Comparing him to Sidney is an insult to Crosby. Heck, comparing him to Malkin, Hossa, and a lot of other players who are playing their hearts out night after night, is insulting.
So tell Ovechkin that I’m done. I can no longer be seen wearing his jersey, once my prized possession. I can be tolerate and even appreciate it if a player tries hard but fails due to lack of talent but a player who gives up on his team and his teammates, I can’t support. I am not comfortable wearing Ovechkin’s jersey anymore. In fact I’m done, son.
- Mike Milbury rips Washington Capitals’ star Alex Ovechkin (nhl.si.com)
- Kirilenko and Ovechkin talking wedding plans (seattletimes.com)
- Has Ovie lost his Magic? (nickolaisblog.wordpress.com)
- Capitals’ Ovechkin in mysterious slide (triblive.com)
- Fixing Alex Ovechkin (getrealhockey.com)