F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 02/28/13 at 02:09 PM ET
Last night, Mike Milbury had some not-so-nice things to say about Ovechkin. While I personally think Milbury typically talks down about Ovechkin, this was different. I usually end up zoning out half-way through because it’s usually the same old shtick that gets old after two or three hundred times. I felt a little different listening to him this time. It wasn’t a sense of agreement (though I’m not saying he was wrong). It was a sense of total embarrassment.
Over the past two seasons, I’ve always been the optimist with Ovechkin. I was a firm believer that he would eventually rediscover his goal-scoring ways and would be back in the hunt for the Richard. I guess in a lot of ways, I still think it will happen. Yet, this was not why I was embarrassed listening to Milbury tear Ovechkin apart. It’s quite simply because the guy being made the fool was a member of the Washington Capitals.
That’s the thing that often gets lost in the Ovechkin debates. We all like to talk about whether he will ever reach 50 or 60 goals again; whether teams still have a specific game plan for stopping him. But in the end, his actions reflect equally the name of the front of the jersey as they do the one on the back. When Ovechkin embellishes like he did last night, he makes the Caps look just as bad as he does. This is the supposed Captain of the team. His success is our success, and his failures, our failures.
When a team signs you to a 13-year, $124 million deal, they are essentially saying “We think you are one of the best players in the world. We believe that by having you on our team, we have a much greater chance of success.” That’s the catch. It’s not that our system will benefit you. It’s that you will be of benefit to our team. Now, obviously systems are made to allow superstars to do their thing, but they should not be tailored to helping a guy rediscover his scoring touch. I don’t see how the powerplay is geared towards much else but Ovechkin (like Milbury points out).
And that’s where some of the blame must be shared by the team. Once they set-up with the extra man, it’s the same old thing. They pass it around on one side waiting for that lane to open up for Ovechkin’s patented one-timer. No offense to Mr. Milbury, but if he sees it, chances are 29 teams are seeing it too.
When it comes down to it, the Cap’s front office cannot let one man, even Alexander Ovechkin, become bigger than the team.
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Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
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