Monday, 20 April 2009

State of...Intensity

This post is dedicated to a player who I absolutely despised. Until recently. This player is an intensely competitive cocky borderline narcissist. At least that's what I thought.

Alexander Ovechkin is an incredible hockey player - that is not for debate. You may disapprove of his post goal celebration, you may dislike his apparent lack of respect for other players or the game of hockey...but you have to LOVE his intensity. He lives to play hockey and he lives to compete.

If Ovechkin had been born in Peterbrough he would be the second coming of....well, I don't know who to compare him to. He has the edge of Cam "Sea bass" Neely. He has the snap wrist shot of Wendel Clark. He has the desire to nobody I've seen. He is a fun player to watch because you always know that he's going to do something noteworthy. Today was no different.

At Rangers practice this morning (yes, Rangers practice) Ovechkin was spotted on the visitor's bench. He was seen starting down opposing players the way a hawk views a helpless mouse. He says that he did it to "tick off" Rangers coach John Torterella. Either way, he was noticed. About three minutes after he arrived he was quietly asked to leave the bench area. As he left the bench area you can bet that if looks could kill the Rangers would have been down a man or two tonight. When asked if was trying to intimidate the Rangers players, Ovechkin could only smile.

With his team down two games to none Alex the Great was doing everything in his power to intimidate his opponent. And, it worked. The Caps came out guns blazing tonight and but a beat down on the Rangers 4-0. Ovechkin assisted on the first two goals and finished with a +2 rating (he would have been +4 but two goals came on the PP). Like he has done all year Ovechkin took this team under his wing and led his team to victory. Whether his actions this morning had any bearing on the outcome is unknown...but it certainly didn't hurt.

Alex, I apologize for judging you on what little I knew of your actions. You are a truly gifted, gritty, intense, insanely talented player...and I love to watch you play. Keep doing what you do...but try to tone down your goal celebrations (the "hot stick" was a bit much for me).

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