Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/04/11 at 09:36 PM ET
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?”
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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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