Alex Ovechkin responds to criticism

Thumbnail image for ovechkin.jpgIn our instant analysis-crazed society, it seems like people just cannot help but make a hasty, sweeping judgment about almost anything. At one point, Alex Ovechkin was the superhuman, unquestioned best player in hockey according to many experts. Yet after a medal-free Olympics run and a first round defeat few saw coming, there are probably plenty of people who think they have “the book” on the Russian star.

All I can offer is this fact: he’s only 24 years old.

Ovechkin understands and acknowledges the criticism he’s getting from many circles, though. Here’s a few choice quotes from a Puck Daddy story.

“It’s fair. It was my fault when we need to score goals. I have the chance to score goals and I don’t score goals. Sometimes you just have to take the moment in your hand.

“It’s pretty hard when you see how we fight, how we played. We had a chance and we didn’t score. If you have a chance to score goals and you don’t score, you just feel … Jesus … like, ‘OK, next time you’re going to score.’ The pressure goes to your mind. It’s pretty hard.”

Ovechkin is the Capitals best player and captain, so he must grow accustomed to being thrown under the bus. He has plenty of gas left in the tank, obviously (at his pace will he play for 15 years or maybe 10 years longer?). Washington went into this year’s playoffs with a swagger you need to be great, but hopefully they learned something from this humbling loss.

Ovechkin’s at least saying the right things.

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    Video: Haley given match penalty for sucker punch, Sharks lose sixth straight

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    Things continue to snowball out of control for the San Jose Sharks.

    The Sharks lost their sixth consecutive game after yet another blowout defeat, this time by a final score of 7-2 versus the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Forward Logan Couture lost a tooth after taking a puck to the face in the second period.

    And late in the game, Micheal Haley was given a match penalty for an incident involving Calle Jarnkrok.

    The Sharks forward is now automatically suspended until commissioner Gary Bettman reviews the incident.

    This incident occurred when Haley was hit into the boards by Jarnkrok. Haley then got up, sped right toward the Predators forward, dropped his gloves and delivered a punch to Jarnkrok as he tried to back away, knocking him to the ice.

    Jarnkrok was given a minor penalty for boarding.

    Haley was also involved in a fight with Cody McLeod early in the first period.

    This has been a particularly shocking, if not embarrassing stretch for the Sharks. In a two-game trip to Dallas and Nashville, against teams below them in the standings, the Sharks were outscored 13-3.

    Martin Jones allowed seven goals on 34 shots faced.

    If Edmonton wins tonight, the Sharks, Ducks and Oilers will be in a three-way tie for first place in the Pacific Division.

    Related: What is wrong with the Sharks?

    Video: Logan Couture loses tooth after taking a puck to the face

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    More bad news for the San Jose Sharks.

    After a slow start against the Nashville Predators during Saturday’s game, forward Logan Couture was hurt in the dying seconds of the middle period after taking a puck to the face while battling in front of the net.

    Replays show Couture appeared to lose a tooth. He quickly skated off the ice and to the dressing room.

    Bruins snap four-game skid with crucial win over Islanders

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    The Boston Bruins have been trending in the wrong direction of late — once again at the worst possible time with the end of the regular season in sight and a playoff spot on the line.

    They entered a massive clash with the New York Islanders on Saturday having lost four straight, temporarily falling out of a playoff spot because of fewer games played.

    They didn’t have Tuukka Rask in net because of a lower-body injury. They were on the road. They fell behind the Islanders early in the first period.

    Despite that, the Bruins quickly came back on a goal from Riley Nash, who scored again in the third period to help his team to a 2-1 victory.

    The four-game losing streak? Gone. With seven games remaining, Boston is back in the final wild card spot, two points ahead of the Islanders, who do still have a game in hand.

    “We have a great mood in here this morning, everyone’s excited and pretty light and there’s no tense feel,” said Brad Marchand prior to facing the Islanders.

    Back-up goaltending has been a concern in Boston this season, however Anton Khudobin shut the door after the Tavares goal, making 18 saves for the win.

    The Bruins host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

    Video: After blowout loss in Dallas, struggling Sharks off to slow start vs. Predators

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    Last night, we asked: What is wrong with the San Jose Sharks?

    Well, a day later, with the Sharks looking to avoid a sixth straight loss, the struggle continues.

    After a blowout loss last night against the Dallas Stars, the Sharks have fallen behind the Nashville Predators by a score of 2-0 after the opening period.

    Colton Sissons opened the scoring for Nashville.

    It didn’t get any better for the Sharks.

    Roman Josi walked right around Brent Burns, hitting the cross bar with his shot. Cody McLeod was right there for the tap-in to increase Nashville’s lead.