The ending of Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Alexander Ovechkin (Part 1) wasn’t a great one, and I realize this now. But, this is the conclusion, the part that brings it all together. The end of the symphony, the grand finale. This is Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Alexander Ovechkin (Part 2).
When we left off on Monday, I had showed you a video of a collision with Raffi Torres that caused an upper body injury. Well when he returned, he had another collision. Except this collision cost him two games. He was suspended for 2 games from a knee-to-knee hit against the Carolina Hurricanes’ Tim Gleason. Here is the hit. I don’t think that should have gotten him a suspension, but what do I know, right? Former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau stated that Alex’s play was reckless at times. Ovi lost $98,844.16 in salary from the suspension. This isn’t the last suspension Alex would serve. He had a hit on Pittsburgh’s Zybnek Michalek on January 23rd, 2012. He received a three-game suspension, and withdrew from the 2012 All-Star Game.
This may come to you as a shocker, because I was shocked when I read this. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals took on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Winter Classic game on New Year’s Day. That’s not the shocker, it is coming. The Capitals went on to win 3-1. Ready? Here’s the kicker. Mr. Ovechkin hadn’t scored one point. The whole game he went without scoring or assisting. That’s just not like him, especially in a big game. He scored his 600th point against my favorite team, the Edmonton Oilers on March 8th, 2011.
Trivia Time: In every few articles I will put up a question, and reveal the answer just before the Editor’s Corner. Here’s the question. Why does Alexander Ovechkin wear the number 8?
a) He was 8 years old when he started playing hockey
b) Washington is the 8th team he’s played for
c) His mother was number 8 in the Olympics
d) His brother Sergei’s lucky number was 8
After Ovechkin won his first Hart Memorial Trophy, he was awarded the key to the city by Washington mayor Adrian M. Fenty. He was given the key because he was the first Washington MVP winner in a major sport since Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins. That was in 1983.
There is reportedly a feud between fellow countrymen Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now this should come as no surprise. Ovechkin was drafted first overall, and Malkin second overall. Picture this for a minute, Malkin on Washington and Ovechkin on Pittsburgh. That’s some freaky stuff, huh? Anyway, back to my point. Whether there is a feud or not, which I strongly believe there is, I think they get along pretty well. The have to play together on Team Russia, so they must get along then. It’s said that Ovechkin punched Malkin’s Russian agent, Gennady Ushakov, at a nightclub in Moscow in August of 2007. It doesn’t seem like they have a problem, since Malkin helped Ovi at the 2008 SuperSkills competition, during the Breakaway Challenge. Here is the clip of them working together.
He has been in a few commercials. I like seeing hockey players in commercials. It’s a fun time all around. Here is some of his work. This has to be my favorite one of my favorites. This one is for ESPN. This one is when he still worked with CCM. This is a top one, too. This is a great prank and I would love to do this to someone. And last but not least, here is him singing the Eastern Motor’s jingle. WARNING: This will get stuck in your head. Proceed with caution!
Answer to Trivia Time: C. His mother was an Olympic gold medalist for the women’s basketball team in the Soviet Union at the games in Montreal, 1976, and the games in Moscow, 1980.
Editor’s Corner: I hope you guys like novels, because editor Jeffrey Kleiman, from Capitals Outsider, has written a long one. But it isn’t surprising; Ovechkin has a lot to talk about. Here is what Jeff had to say.
While Alexander Ovechkin’s production has slipped over the last two seasons, somewhere inside of him lies the man who can put up 45-plus goals a season. Pundits and fans have tried to decipher the reason for his slide- whether it has been the system that has been implemented, the fact he has become the captain, or if it is just a mental block. Granted, transitioning from a run-and-gun offense to a hybrid system under Bruce Boudreau and then going to a defense-first system under Dale Hunter certainly impeded his production, the perception remains that the fire that once burned has been put out.
It’s my personal belief that what ails “Eight the Great” is something purely mental. Back in February, Capitals associate goaltending coach Olie Kolzig was quoted as saying this about Ovechkin:
“I think a lot of it is frustration. Obviously he’s not scoring at the clip he’s accustomed to. Part of that is not having Nicky Backstrom in the lineup. Alex- and I think I’m seeing it a little more with Dale behind the bench- Alex was getting away from playing the hard, no-nonsense, honest type of hockey, exuberant hockey that he displayed in the first three years that he was in the league.
“I think that’s what endeared him to everybody. Then all of a sudden he was the same Alex, he was celebrating certain ways and what endeared him to everybody now made look like a villain. So, I think part of it is he’s feeling a little not as loved as he used to be, he brings that on himself sometimes. But I think obviously missing Nicky, it hurts. Teams have kind of got a handle on him, maybe how to close the gap on him and not allow to score those fantastic one-on-one goals that he used to score. For Alex, it’s a work ethic. He just has to get back to being the way he was in his younger days and maybe not get wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex Ovechkin.”
Kolzig is completely accurate in his opinion of Ovechkin, but it starts with the coach. The right coach needs to come into The District and let Ovechkin play his offensive style of play, however stress the importance of being able to play both ways. Then it goes into his worth ethic. He needs to work at getting better and setting an example to the rest of his team. It hurts himself and the team when their captain takes his option at the morning skate the day of games. He needs to have fun playing the game, not play it because he’s one of the highest-paid players in the entire league. Do that, and he will regain the scoring touch he once had.
Otherwise, the Washington Capitals will have an $88 million problem on their hands.
Alexander Ovechkin has been awarded so many things, it’s ridiculous. He has shown the Capitals that he means business and is the kind of player to keep around for a long time. I know this is true because it took me two parts to tell you his story, and it isn’t even everything. This is just stuff on the outside. I didn’t tell you how he is on the inside. Is he the kind of person who is shy and doesn’t tell anyone anything, or does he let the world know his problems and his weaknesses? You tell me. What do you think? You know I’m up for a good debate on the Twitter. Hit me up anytime or e-mail me at [email protected].
That is it. Alex Ovechkin, it was a pain in the neck, but I got through it, and hopefully you all did, too. Tomorrow is going to be a good one. Next up is Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Rick Nash.