Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Rock Star, Day 2

Yesterday we had this…

Kolzig stressed that Ovechkin needs to step up his work ethic and “maybe not get wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex Ovechkin.”


“I don’t disagree with anything that Olie said,” McPhee said. “What we have to understand is Olie had one of the highest work ethics of any player we’ve ever seen. It’s hard for anybody to match his level and he holds everybody to that standard. But you look at a player like Ovechkin, he wouldn’t be who he is if he didn’t work hard.

“But like all the great ones: a [Mario] Lemieux, or a [Sergei] Fedorov or a Corey Perry or an Ovechkin,” McPhee continued. “There are nights where you may not be giving it everything but your skill makes a difference and you help your club win a game. What we all learn is you have to be reminded once in awhile. If you’re working hard all the time that’s when you become unstoppable.”

read more, including Ovechkin’s remarks from Katie Carrera of Capitals Insider.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Evilpens's avatar

UMMM George McPhee Mario played when he couldn’t bend over to put or tie his skates! he had trainers assistant do it for him & had a 46 consecutive point in a game streak stopped because he just couldn’t deal with the pain anymore! Big difference that Jaws not roided up now

Posted by Evilpens on 02/16/12 at 04:24 PM ET

Chet's avatar

the caps will never win a cup w/ this guy wearing the C or maybe even on the team. he’s well on his way to this legacy: just another lazy, selfish ruskie with all the talent in the world and none of the drive. his quotes over the past few seasons make him sound like a childish clown. mcphee’s comparisons to legitimately great, hardworking players just make him sound like a clown, too. when are the caps gonna stop apologizing for this primadonna?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/16/12 at 04:40 PM ET

Chet's avatar

and, I’d add, remember fedorov? ALSO a bit of a primadonna. the wings may have paid him well but they NEVER put up with these ovechkin-level dog and pony shows. disgraceful.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/16/12 at 04:47 PM ET

Matthew Tate's avatar

The Capitals are not in a position where they can just disown Ovechkin.  When you have are paying a guy that much for that long, you can’t just tear him apart.  I have a ton of respect for Olie, but he is not in a position to be publicly calling out people.  A franchise has to do its part to keep the dirty laundry away from the media.

Posted by Matthew Tate on 02/16/12 at 04:49 PM ET

Chet's avatar

disagree. at some point 8 has to grow up and he’s shown no signs of doing it on his own. he got BB fired, one could argue, and has delivered the caps next to nothing in terms of postseason team success. this guy’s not a story line in the NHL anymore, he’s a punch line.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/16/12 at 04:54 PM ET

Matthew Tate's avatar

I agree Ovechkin needs to change.  I have always been a believer that the organization made a mistake when then chose him over Laich for the C.  However, calling out your star player, and captain, to the media just draws more negativity to a team that is already struggling.  It is no secret that Ovechkin has a tendency to have an attitude problem.  It makes no sense to berate him to the media.  All you do is draw attention to the fact that your team is in shambles.  When so much of a organization’s overall success comes from a perception that they are strong, it is counterproductive to point out the chinks in your own armor.

Posted by Matthew Tate on 02/16/12 at 04:59 PM ET

Chet's avatar

it’s no secret around the league at this point, though, is it? i mean really?

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/16/12 at 05:05 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m gonna have to go with Tate on this.  Olie should’ve had the tact to keep it in the dressing room.  Ron Wilson once said that Olie had a habit where his emotions would get the better of him because he was so fiercely competitive.  We’ve seen it as Wings fans in the ‘98 SCFs when he let in bad goals and he shows his emotions unfiltered.

This should’ve stayed out of the media.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 02/16/12 at 05:07 PM ET


I watched the caps/sharks game and i must have watched a completely different game than everyone else.  I saw a player (OV) that competed hard.  He was hitting, shooting, really flying around out there.  He was not hanging around the blue line either, he was in the d-zone helping out as well.

I am not sure why all the blame right now is goign to OV… but i think it is a little bit of a reach to say that the reason they are playing so poorly is his fault.  Yes, he is the captain, but it is a team game.

I think it is obvious that McPhee’s decision of firing Big Bruce was not the answer.  I may be time that the caps send Semin to a team for a legit offensive d-man to fill in the role that green is not able to do right now.

This team without green is similar to what the penguins were missing without letang or even the wings without lidstrom.  not saying he is as good at lidstrom or letang, but he is their version of the offensive d-men.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 02/16/12 at 05:15 PM ET

Matthew Tate's avatar

The game against the Sharks was one of the few I did not watch on tv, as I was at the game.  I saw a mix of Ovis.  He had flashes of hard hitting and good passes (I recall one specific play with Semin that looked great) but he also had some awful shifts.  He was throwing the puck to open wings, trying behind the back blind passes.  He was not as bad as someone like Johansson, but he was not great.

Overall, the big issue is that Ovechkin is supposed to be the heart of this team.  He is built as the superstar captain, but we haven’t seen him takeover a game quite some time.  Yes the Caps are hurting without Backstrom and Green, but Ovechkin used to be able to just put the team on his back and fix it.  I look at his power play decisions as being indicative of his form.  He has been outspoken about playing the point, while he was significantly more productive in the past when setting up on the left circle, like we see Stamkos do so well.

Posted by Matthew Tate on 02/16/12 at 05:22 PM ET

Chet's avatar

yeah, this isn’t about any one game or even one series. it’s about his attitude and performance season to season, playoff to playoff. nothing he says and little he does suggests he’s committed at the level necessary to win a cup in this cap era.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 02/16/12 at 05:27 PM ET

awould's avatar

I think a lot of the knock on Ovi is that his off-season was followed closely and it didn’t reflect well on him. Obviously none of us and nobody but Ovi and those close to him really know how he spent all his time in the off-season, but most indications seem to be that he partied a fair amount and didn’t spend enough time taking care of himself and preparing for the season.

He IS a superstar in the league, and the Captain of his team. He should prepare like a professional being paid millions of dollars, because that’s what he is. It’s not enough in today’s NHL to go skate real hard during games.

Somebody made a comment on these boards recently about how Patrick Kane isn’t a good bet long term because he doesn’t work hard enough in the off-season, parties too much, etc. and his skill won’t carry him in 5 years like it carries him now.

Maybe Ovi is a good predictor for what happens when you don’t train like you should. You can bet guys like Ovi and Kane won’t be around as long as Selanne. Stamkos is a good comparison. He is a workhorse in the off-season, while Ovechkin isn’t. I’m sure both play hard on the ice. But look at their stats this year.

And for a non-scientific comparison:

Posted by awould on 02/16/12 at 06:08 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Thanks, awould.  If it were the Fifties with Bobby Layne and the Lions, this would’ve been legend.

Hmm.  Gary Roberts Workout vs. Chris Chelios Workout.

Definitely Sparty’s workout.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 02/16/12 at 06:41 PM ET


Might have been me that didn’t like Kane long-term (at least, I certainly don’t), but I don’t think Ovechkin’s anywhere near Kane’s level of not being a pro away from the rink. I mean, Kane missed a thursday game (not a morning skate, not a practice, not a team breakfast—-a game) last year with alcohol poisoning from Tuesday.

Worst I think that can be said about OV in terms of training is he does just enough to get by (Rick Nash would be a good comparable), but not enough to excel anymore (Stammer). I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s actively self-destructive, which is exactly what I think of Kane.

Normally I would agree with Matthew Tate that this is something that should be kept in the room, but in this case, I don’t because the funk has lasted too long and cost the franchise too much, including a coach who might pull off the impossible task of making the playoffs out of a deep hole in a deep conference with a flawed, top-heavy lineup.

What they’ve been doing to get the guy in gear hasn’t worked. Kolzig jumping on him to the press might not work either, but who knows, maybe it does. Have him for 10 more years, gotta figure something out.

Posted by larry from pitt on 02/16/12 at 06:46 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com