There were three big stories to come out of the Olympics this year: Sidney Crosby is the Golden Kid, the United States almost pulled it off and Alex Ovechkin drove a stake into the relationship between himself and the North American media. There was the infamous video of him ‘attacking’ a fan with a camera, and the way he snubbed everyone but the Russian media while in Vancouver. The disappointing manner in which Russia finished the Olympics was also a bit of an issue as well.
Now, after the Washington Capitals added four players at the trade deadline, and are poised to make a run towards the Stanley Cup, Ovechkin is ready to move on:
“I’ve said, we’re all disappointed, but let’s move forward,” said
Ovechkin, who has 42 goals and 47 assists in 54 games this season.
“Let’s talk about the future, not what happened in the tournament.”
“You just can’t wait until the season’s going to be over and the
playoffs are going to start,” he said. “The most important thing that
when you go to the playoffs, you’re in good shape, you’re not tired and
you just concentrate on your game.”
There are many who have decided to pit Ovechkin versus Sidney Crosby in a war for who is the best in the NHL; sort of a hockey version of the Brady vs. Peyton debate. Myself, I’m not too keen on comparing the two aside from the fact they are both two of the top players in the NHL and they’re both leading their respective teams to wins.
Part of the debate that happens includes bashing one while putting the other on a throne, and it seems that Ovechkin has taken the ‘bad guy’ role. The Olympics problems have only heightened that feeling. Yet he’s moved on from whatever it was that happened in Vancouver and you have to respect his wishes to forget about those troubles and focus on the Capitals.
They got off to the right start last night with a big win over Buffalo, snapping a ‘slide’ by the Capitals heading into the break.
People love star athletes because they can do amazing things. Even so, people also often love to see the occasional moment of weakness.
Aside from the occasional injury hiccup, Sidney Crosby‘s been as advertised after being a super-hyped No. 1 overall pick. He has that “Golden Goal,” two Olympic gold medals, a Stanley Cup ring and plenty of individual accolades.
Not many people expected the Capitals-Penguins series to be over in five games, but there’s a chance that could happen before the end of the week. After their 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, the Capitals are one loss away from being bounced from the 2016 playoffs.
The Capitals failed to take advantage of the fact that Kris Letang was suspended for Game 4 because of his hit on Marcus Johansson in Game 3. Letang is now set to return for Game 5 which makes Washington’s task even more difficult.
“We didn’t take advantage of it,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said, per NHL.com. “One thing I said to the guys coming into this, and we talked it about it yesterday, was when Kris got his suspension, is that they’re going to rally. Their whole team, their forwards are going to come back. They talked about they didn’t play their best game (in Game 3) and now they have Letang out and everybody had to step up on their side, and I thought they did.”
If you look back at the regular season, the Capitals were head and shoulders above the rest of the Eastern Conference and the league for a good portion of the season. Washington finished 11 points ahead of second place Dallas in the league standings and it looked like they had the team that would finally take them over the hump.
Although things look gloomy, it’s important to realize that the series is far from over. Many NHLers would tell you that the fourth win is always the hardest to come by in a best-of-seven series, and by no means is anyone expecting the Capitals to wave the white flag.
“Whenever you lose a game, it’s obviously an opportunity missed, but it had nothing to do with them missing some of their players,” said Caps forward Jay Beagle, per NHL.com. “We’re looking forward. Our back’s against the wall and the most important game of our lives is coming up.”
Game 5 goes Saturday night in Washington.
PHT Morning Skate: Shane Doan takes a (friendly) shot at the Miracle on Ice
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
Trevor Daley, traded to Blackhawks for Sharp & Johns and to #Pens for Scuderi (who was flipped to LA for Ehrhoff) played 28:41 in G4 W.