We wrote yesterday about the giant microscope Alex Ovechkin plays under.
Well, today his coach, Adam Oates, went to bat for him.
When asked about the national criticism Ovechkin has received from the likes of NBC analysts Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire, as well as TSN’s Ray Ferraro, Oates admitted that it bothered him.
“I don’t like it when ex-players talk about players,” said Oates. “I think your job is to add color.”
Oates also said he “had a little talk this morning” with Ovechkin.
“He’s got so much pressure on him,” said Oates, “the world sees it, but they don’t see necessarily the 10 hits, they don’t see necessarily the 14 shots that he takes. They focus on the mistakes, and that goes with the territory.”
Oates is right that Ovechkin doesn’t deserve all the blame for the Caps’ problems, but it’s unreasonable to ask former-players-turned-analysts like Milbury and Ferraro to avoid saying anything about current players. Analyzing players is what they’re paid to do. The fact they did play in the NHL — or in the case of McGuire, coach in the NHL — is part of what qualifies them for the job.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (NHL.com)
Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)
After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)
Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)
The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.
He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.
He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).
In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.
No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?