Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ovie, fans deserve better

I don't care if the Washington Capitals win the Stanley Cup, eradicate Third World poverty and cure baldness - I hate the way coach Dale Hunter is using Alex Ovechkin.
Unfortunately for all, events only served to feed into Hunter's sense of his own genius last night when Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal on a third period power play to knock off the Rangers 3-2 in New York, tying their second round series at a game apiece. It was a rewarding end to an otherwise frustrating night for Ovechkin, who played fewer minutes than Matt Hendricks, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, Marcus Johansson and Brooks Laich - all important contributors to the Caps' cause but without a Calder, Hart, Art Ross or Rocket Richard trophy between them, while Ovechkin has a combined total of six.
When he plays with the relatively free reign he was given for most of his first six NHL seasons, Alex Ovechkin is the most exciting player in professional hockey. The fun he has playing the game when he plays it at the level he's capable of makes it that much more fun to watch, but his trademark passion and enthusiasm have all but disappeared under Hunter's thumb, and little wonder. Shackling a player with Ovechkin's offensive instincts and ability is the competitive and marketing equivalent of telling Babe Ruth to bunt, Peyton Manning to run-block or hooking Secretariat up to a plow. It's a massive waste of talent, and a disservice to the fans and the game.
Whatever success the Capitals are enjoying in the playoffs is despite the way Hunter is using his best player, not because of it.

3 comments:

  1. I'm just waiting for Ovechkin to have a blowout with Hunter and then Hunter takes a run at him from behind. It's gotta happen sometime because the only difference between Hunter the coach and Hunter the player is the uniform.

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  2. Umm, he led game 2 in shots, despite the shortened ice time...he scored the winning goal, what exactly would you like. Maybe for him to play 3 minute shifts so know-it-alls like yourself can say Caps will never win with Ovie being so selfish. Hunter has knocked off #2 seed and is giving the #1 Rangers all they can handle...oh and by the way, Ovie seems to be enjoying this whole winning thing and not complaining.

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  3. Umm, don't put words in my mouth. I've never said he's selfish. And big whoop that he led one game in shots. If you like watching a player with his talent play the trap when he's not sitting on the bench, knock yourself out. That's not why I watch the game.

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