After years of waiting to represent his country at home in the Olympic games, Alex Ovechkin bid to lead Russia to gold ended in disaster.
After what has likely been a demoralizing week for the superstar, the question turns to if it will impact his game when he returns to the Washington Capitals.
“I couldn’t imagine what that would have been like, that’s a lot of weight on his shoulders to try and get something done there,” Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner told the Washington Post.
“Hopefully it’s not something that will affect him with us but I’m sure the next few days will be tough for him.
“You could go to the Olympics and be riding the biggest high just before you get there then you could play bad, you could come back and feel awful. You hope that that’s not the case.”
The Capitals lost their playoff spot before the Olympic break, but they’re only behind by a single point in the Wild Card race. They’re built around Ovechkin and he’s delivered so far this season with an incredible 40 goals and 60 points in 55 games.
Returning to Washington presents him with another opportunity. While he will never get another chance to earn an Olympic gold medal at home, the 28-year-old still has plenty of time left to win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals certainly aren’t favorites to do so this year, but when Ovechkin’s at his best, they’re a major threat.
Alternatively, if he suffers a post-Olympics drop off in production, they will have a tough time even making the playoffs.
#Capitals Alex Ovechkin had 42 goals & 89 points in 54 games before 2010 Olympics & 8 goals and 20 points in 18 games after. #2014 slump?
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger