A lot of people are expressing concern at the current lack of goals by Ovi lately. I’m here to tell you that maybe; just maybe, Ovi has something else in mind. Call it a hunch.
As Caps fans, we are a spoiled bunch. We have the greatest current NHL player on our team. (Debatable by some, but not by Caps fans). We have watched him win award after award, and accolades aplenty since his rookie year. Many have come to expect this to continue this season, but would any of us really be that disappointed if the only award Ovi and the Caps won this year was the Stanley Cup?
I can’t claim to have any personal insight on what is going on in Alex’s head right now in regards to his game, but there lots of clues to what he might be thinking.
Yes, Ovi is currently in the top 3 in the NHL standings, but, is his objective to be MVP? It would be nice, but I don’t think he is focused on that. He has made it quite clear to one and all; the man wants the Stanley Cup.
I like to think that his record is what it is because the man is a beast on the ice, it’s what he does. He couldn’t help that if he tried, but, two different sets of suspensions have shown that this team can win games without relying on Ovechkin. That’s a good thing. It also takes a great deal of pressure off of Ovi. I’ll say it again, the man is a beast, God love him, but it takes a whole team to win the ultimate prize. Let’s get real people; I would rather have him healthy going into the playoffs then injured, just because some moron like Downie tried to take him out during a regular season game to prevent him from getting a puck in the net. If he isn’t a scoring machine right now, just wait. I’d be more concerned if he wasn’t scoring during playoffs.
There is also the position of Captain to consider. The honor of being named Captain is not something I think he takes lightly, nor is it something that will be gone at the end of this season. It’s a promotion and sign of respect that is serious business. I enjoy watching this more mature Ovi play. Back at the beginning of the Olympics, in an interview translated by Russian Machine Never Breaks, Ovi is quoted as saying “It is better to celebrate wins, not goals”. I think in Ovi’s mind, this applies to Caps wins too. As an athlete, he has to apply that to his personal game no matter where he is playing. He makes great assists, doesn’t hog the puck like he is the only one who can score. He is not only a team player, but a team leader. Sure, there are times when he had a scoring opportunity that wasn’t taken, but just look at the other goal stats that the Caps have. We have 7 players with over 20 goals so far, and Mike Green could become another on that list before the end of the regular season. We have 9 players with over 20 assists. Under his captaincy, this has become a more well-rounded complete team. It’s no longer the Ovi show, but that’s something I think we can all live with.
So, as disheartening as it may be, let’s consider this Alex’s chance to rest up before the big show. He’s still on the ice, not on the bench, or God forbid; in the press box sitting out a game. He’s in there keeping his eye on the prize, staying an important part of his team’s success. Remember, the Caps already have the pieces in place to go all the way, and Ovi is one of the reasons why they are there. And as much as I would also like to see Ovi net a couple more to lead the league, if the only thing that we get out of this season is the Stanley Cup, I’ll be one happy Caps fan.