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A Look At Ovechkin

from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,

Look at the players taken first overall right around him: Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Crosby (2005) and Patrick Kane (2007) have already been critical components of a Stanley Cup champion team. Eric Staal, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Malkin and Jonathan Toews are franchise players of Ovechkin’s generation who’ve done it, too. And Stamkos also trends upward.

It is ludicrous to solely blame him for Washington’s failure to carry the Cup, so far. And I cannot disagree enough with the idea that Ovechkin doesn’t want to win. But why have many of the players listed above soared while he has stagnated? Because he has not invested enough in improving his game or learning how to win.

Let’s use Crosby as an example. Every summer, he’s concentrated on something to make his game better. As a rookie, his faceoff percentage was 46 per cent. Last year, he was 14th in the NHL at 56 per cent before the injury. When he thought he was becoming too easy to defend, he worked on his shot to become a more dangerous scorer.

Where do you look at Ovechkin and say, “Wow, he’s really improved at that in five years?”

more plus 30 Thoughts too…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin


Evilpens's avatar

UH-OH The Bloom coming off the OV rose ?

Posted by Evilpens on 10/04/11 at 11:18 PM ET

Alzy's avatar

I have to disagree with Friedman on this one. The question he should be asking is not “what has Ovechkin done to improve his game”, but rather “why the hell do Backstrom, Semin, Green et all refuse to raise their level of play?” Ovechkin has worked his ass off for the Caps, but he’s only one man. One man cannot win a Cup all by himself. Rosby had Malkin and MAF, Kane had Toews, Keith, Seabrook, Hossa etc. Even my favourite Datsyuk didn’t win a cup by himself. Expecting one man to single-handedly win a Cup is unfair , but I can’t say I’m surprised. The media up here, even though the Summit Series was almost 40 years ago, still has a subtle anti-russian stance.

Posted by Alzy from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada on 10/04/11 at 11:35 PM ET


Alzy fair point, every single player Friedman mentioned did it in pairs. Stamkos has had less time to do it, but he does have St. Louis.  The reality is, if Ovechkin did win it all, then two of the others on the list would not have. The Capitals have been riding Green and Semin for some time, but Backstrom seems to have gotten a free ride for his disappearing act as well.

As for the anti-Russaina stance, look at Yashin as public enemy number one, whereas Shanahan refused to play for the Whalers, Mueller refused to play for the Islanders and Lindros refused to play for the Nordiques and none of them are painted with the same strokes as Yashin.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 10/05/11 at 11:16 AM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

As for the anti-Russaina stance, look at Yashin as public enemy number one, whereas Shanahan refused to play for the Whalers,[——-]
Posted by hockey1919

Better check your history…
Shanny never refused to play, he asked to be traded, and played 76 games for the Whalers while that was arranged.

Lindros refused, and sat out waiting for the trade.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 10/05/11 at 12:30 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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