Archive for Alexander Ovechkin

2009 NHL Awards – Lady Byng

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2009 by FEGNS

lady byng trophy-gentlemanly conductThe Lady Byng Trophy is given each year to the NHL player “who has exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

Simply put, usually it goes to the player who has the combination of high point totals and low penalty minute totals.  Pavel Datsyuk has won the award three years in a row, and is one of the finalists for the award again this year.

Joining Datsyuk on the list of finalists are: New Jersey LW, Zach Parise and Tampa Bay RW, Martin St. Louis.

Obviously, all three candidates are stellar options… but let’s briefly take a look at each player (as we have done with the other awards).

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2009 NHL Awards – The Givens

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by FEGNS

nhl-awards

As of April 12th, 2009… the recipients for three of the many yearly NHL awards were decided: The Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (which is awarded to the most proficient goal scorer each season), the Art Ross Trophy (which is awarded to the most proficient point getter each season), and the Presidents Trophy (which is awarded to the team with the best record at the end of the regular season). 

These awards are not determined by votes and as of the end of the last regular season game this past Sunday night, their winners have been determined.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs – Round 1 (East) Predictions

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by FEGNS

 

stanleycup2009-east (1st Round Predictions)

Every year as the NHL regular season wraps up, I find myself attempting to make predictions as to which teams will advance through the playoffs. 

This year is no different… so I’ve decided to break down my thoughts regarding the upcoming playoff series’ of the Eastern Conference.  The Western Conference predictions will be posted tomorrow.

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Ovechkin Celebrates 50th Goal

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , on March 20, 2009 by FEGNS

Last night, Alexander Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season against the Tampa Bay Lightning.  To commemorate the event, he laid his stick down on the ice and treated it as “too hot to handle.”  For several seconds before skating off of the ice.

A few weeks ago, color commentator, Don Cherry expressed a certain level of disgust with Ovechkin’s celebrations following goals… but this latest example of premeditated celebration will really burn Cherry’s britches I’m sure.  I’d imagine that Cherry will have more viewers than he’s had in years the next time he’s on t.v. as people tune in just to hear what he’s got to say now. 

In case you missed it here’s (what will become I’m sure) the notorious celebration:

As far as the celebration goes: I’ve made it very clear to everyone I talk to that I love Ovechkin’s passion for the game.  I typically have no problem with him pumping his fist and being excited about goals.  I actually don’t have much of a problem with him planning a celebration for milestone goals… but what I do have a problem with, is the star player of a team seemingly focusing more on his own personal achievements and goal scoring than the teams success as a whole. 

The Washington Capitals are a team that is 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.   That’s the 8th best “last-10” record in the Eastern Conference right now.  This team needs to focus on winning games; not celebrating goals or personal achievements.  If Ovechkin is ever to be a captain of this squad (he’s currently an alternate), he needs to learn that lesson. 

I’ve got no problem with celebrating… and I really don’t care one way or another about planned celebrations in hockey… but I do think that any celebrating that is done, should come only after the success of the team as a whole. 

If the Capitals were on a tear, mopping the ice with their competition of late, it’d be a completely different story, and I’d have a very different opinion as to whether or not this celebration should have occurred… as things are right now, Ovechkin and his teammates need to be more focused on how they can advance their position in the standings, and how they can prepare themselves best for a long playoff run. 

At the end of the day, you can scored 50+ times in numerous regular seasons… but if you don’t win a Stanley Cup, you will retire unsatisfied.  Ovechkin and the Capitals as a whole need to take a second and refocus on what is (or at least should be) their most important goal: Lord Stanley’s Cup.  After that goal is achieved, then you celebrate… and you celebrate as a team.

Capitals/Penguins Budding Rivalry

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2009 by FEGNS

This weekend, the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins played each other for the fourth and final time this season.  These games carry with them the inherent sub-plot of Crosby & Malkin vs. Ovechkin & Semin, but it’s evolving into more than that lately… The fans are really getting into the mix.

As Puckdaddy posts in “Today in Sidney Crosby bashing: Caps fans offer crib notes,” Capitals fans are really developing a healthy hate for Crosby and the Penguins as a whole… and I’d be willing to bet that the same is happening in Pittsburgh in regards to Ovechkin and Semin.

Now, there are a lot of hockey fans the Baltimore area (which is roughly 20 miles from D.C. and about an hour from Philadelphia), so with a budding rivalry between the Capitals and the Penguins, and a continuing rivalry between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Penguins, it’s not reaching to say that Maryland hockey fans will be against central Pennsylvania hockey fans for years (or possibly generations) to come.

Rivalries are great for sports, and if these teams stay great, this one could evolve into something really special.

Don Cherry vs. Ovechkin – Part II

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , , on March 3, 2009 by FEGNS

Ok… Following my initial post on this subject, I was going to let that be that… but this morning, a large write-up on the topic appeared on puckdaddy (yahoo’s hockey blog), and I feel the need to address this news further and along a different tangent.

The Puckdaddy post quotes part of Cherry’s ridiculous rant and then writes the following reaction/agreement:

Don Cherry:He’s got a free ride. He runs at guys …”

Puckdaddy:  In fairness, Ovechkin is second on the Capitals in PIM (66). But Cherry’s point is a fair one: Ovechkin leaves his feet on hits and there are times when a charge for another player is a highlight-reel check for Ovechkin. He gets superstar treatment. It’s not wrong, it’s not right … but Cherry’s on the mark here.

So lets analyze these statements and see if we agree… 

Ovechkin:

While Ovechkin does have 66 penalty minutes this season, only 28 of those penalty minutes have come from infractions that are commonly associated with body checks and taking “runs at guys.”  These 28 minutes include all of Ovechkin’s time served for roughing, interference, cross checking, kneeing, charging, and boarding.  The majority of these infractions were roughing, interference, and cross checking though; with only 8 penalty minutes coming from kneeing, charging, and boarding.  Now if Ovechkin really “runs at guys” wouldn’t he have more than just 8 penalty minutes for kneeing, charging, and boarding through 62 games?

Also, consider the following clip of Ovechkin injuring Jamie Heward on January 1st of this year:

Now people may disagree with me on this, but if you really watch closely at Ovechkin’s body language preceding the hit, you can see that he tried to pull up.

Unlike a lot of guys that see people turn into a vulnerable position as they’re going for a hit, Ovechkin really does seem to try and pull up.

It was just an unfortunate coincidence that he even came into contact with Heward’s head, as ovechkin twisted his body to avoid finishing the check strong. By twisting, he transfered the majority of the force of the hit to his left shoulder (which impacts the glass) and away from his right side (which comes into contact with Heward’s head). This hit would have been WAY worse if he had just finished the hit.

I know that Heward was injured by the hit, but the restraint that A.O. showed (as far as I’m concerned) when he saw Heward turn and put himself into a vulnerable position is quite admirable to me, and not typical of the type of player Cherry and Puckdaddy seem to describe.

I encourage you all to analyze the clip above and make your own conclusions. Look at the force at which Ovechkin’s left shoulder impacts the glass, and you realize just what Heward’s head missed out on.

Crosby (and Canadian Players):

Ok… so these are the guys that youth hockey players should strive to emulate (according to Don Cherry).  All of the below clips are that of Canadian players.

Chris Pronger

Chris Pronger 2 (compare this hit to the Ovechkin clip posted further up the page) 

Sidney Crosby

These above videos of Canadian born players are FAR AND ABOVE more worthy of critique then any of Ovechkin’s hits.  A.O. is a hard-working, clean player who likes to hit people, celebrate his success, and have fun playing the game.  If he were Canadian, Cherry would praise him for his work ethic and hard-nosed play, yet because he’s Russian, he takes “runs at guys.”  It’s despicable that this blatant racist is even a public figure in Canada.

Don Cherry is an Idiot

Posted in Hockey with tags , , , on March 2, 2009 by FEGNS

Don Cherry is a flamboyant NHL analyst that Canadians seem to think is worthy of having a job as an NHL spokesperson on Canadian national television.

A couple of days ago, he absolutely ripped the best player in the game (Alex Ovechkin) for his goal celebrations (see below).

Now… I’m all for the traditional Canadian aspects of hockey… I too am a traditionalist in many senses when it comes to hockey.  I like fighting.  I like the code of ethics that players follow on the ice, and how they hold each other accountable for cheap shots. 

However, how anyone can suggest that anything that Ovechkin does is bad for the NHL is just asinine.  Ovechkin is the most entertaining player in the sport.  People love watching him play.  Apparently Cherry, for all his broadcasting experience, doesn’t understand that ratings pay his bills.  He should praise Ovechkin for what he brings to the game, and encourage more Canadian hockey players to play with the passion with which Ovechkin plays.

Cherry suggests that soccer players show too much emotion when they score.  Well I say this to his comparison between Ovechkin and soccer players:  If only hockey could be as popular as soccer around the world.  Soccer is arguably the most popular sport on this earth.  Perhaps part of that is because of the passion that these goal scorers play with. 

If Ovechkin brings that passion to the sport, and ultimately makes hockey more popular, how is this a bad thing?  Seriously.   Who cares if the NHL is popular?  Right Cherry?  How about we just not televise it?  That would limit the popularity of the game right?

What an idiot.