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Alex The Once Great

from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,

It’s getting harder to remember what Alexander Ovechkin was, even if it surfaces in flashes of memory, in bursts of passion, in flares rather than fireworks. He’s still good. He’s still capable of greatness. He’s still the guy who used to be considered the best, most thrilling, most refreshing player in hockey.

But all that has been submerged under layers of sediment, and the Ovechkin we see today is not the same player who duelled Sidney Crosby in 2009, both of them atop their games and The Game, separated only by a rookie goalie who got shaky at the wrong time. It could make you sick, to borrow a phrase, how far he done fell.

“I think Alex, when he scored 65 goals [in 2007-08], was as good as any person or any player’s gonna get for a long time, as far as goal-scoring goes.” Bruce Boudreau told a Washington radio station that after being fired by the Capitals this week. He was fired because great swathes of his team appeared to quit on him, more or less, Ovechkin included. That minus-4 in Buffalo, a minus-3 in a 7-1 loss in Toronto, the eight goals and 18 points and minus-6 in 23 games. He shoots less. He plays less. He is less. He is only 26.


Answer me this.  You are the team captain, your coach just was replaced and what do you do?  Tweet about your new girlfriend is not on my list.

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



Ovie hasn’t been the same since the Olympics.  Something burst his bubble.  He is what he is.  Just let him run and build a team around him.  He’s exciting but he’ll never win anything playing run and gun.

Posted by 13 user names on 12/01/11 at 03:27 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

All of this panic is absurd. I remember another mercurial Russian talent that seemed to care more about banging tennis players than playing hockey. But he did “figure it out” and ultimately became one of the best two-way players in postseason history. Oh, and he did finish with 400+ goals and 1000+ points in his regular season career.

Yes, Ovechkin has the goal scoring talent to finish with better counting stats than that, but the point is that this happens with a lot of players.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/01/11 at 12:18 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

Answer me this.  You are the team captain, your coach just was replaced and what do you do?  Tweet about your new girlfriend is not on my list.

I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw that.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 12/01/11 at 05:07 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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