Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall told NHL.com’s Brian Hedger that he’s not convinced that there’s “a book” on Alex Ovechkin. From the sound of things, he’d gladly leaf through one if it existed:
Informed of a notion that there’s now a “book” on how to contain Ovechkin’s immense offensive talents, Kronwall chuckled.
“Really?” he said. “Be sure to send it this way.”
I’ve been venturing this argument for quite some time, but an interesting profile on Evgeni Malkin brings it up again: maybe Ovechkin is a little exhausted. In Michael Farber’s piece, he discusses the fact that Malkin seemed shamed by the relative slippage of his game last season, but one thing that didn’t get enough attention was that Geno faced some time away from hockey.
While Ovi professed a renewed appreciation for playing even in time lost from suspensions, he’s never had a great break after a letdown. Each summer, he’s gone straight to World Championship tournaments rather than resting – even with a knee injury hampering him in 2011.
Ovechkin can still be Ovechkin again – he might just need a palate cleanser.
(I mean, unless there really is a book on him – then he might want to flip the script.)