Alexander Ovechkin is on the verge of exploding into ridiculous superstardom territory. This guy has some serious crossover capability for a Hockey player and that is truly something special. Game 7 in the 2nd Round of the NHL Playoffs is tomorrow at 7pm E.T. and it pits the explosive Ovechkin against the beloved Sidney Crosby and his partner Evgeni Malkin; what more can I say to that? How about, the tension between Malkin and Ovechkin, that is as good place to start as any. The NHL could not have asked for a more intriguing matchup and subsequent showdown as they will get on Wednesday night. As for Ovechkin, he finally has a chance to launch his status and announce himself as a complete hockey player, the face of the Washington Capitals, and the man to watch in the NHL right now. The fact that the Caps have been able to hang with the Pens this long despite the great support the Pens have been enjoying speaks volumes. If Ovechkin and the Caps can win tomorrow, I think the NHL (and the fans) will be better off for it in the long run because they are fun to watch.
No disrespect or slight to Crosby, Malkin or the Pens; it is just that they do not have the same ability to reach a wider market the way Ovechkin does. Leave it to my friend, “Ovechkin is the closest thing to having a “black” player in the NHL”; that was his words. I have to agree. Ovechkin plays with the flare of a soccer player (probably something he got from his dad) and the grace of a basketball player (probably something he got from his mom) – combine the 2 and you have one dynamic athlete. I do not play hockey but watching Ovechkin makes me want to grab a pair of skates and some hockey sticks. Crosby and Malkin are complete players, no doubt about it, short of winning the Stanley Cup last year the Pens have accomplished so much already with the both of them; but, neither one makes me want to jump on the ice and start playing hockey. Ovechkin on the other hand inspires other people to follow the sport. His style of play shows how much fun you can have just playing sports and the way he plays shows that hockey can be fun even at its best and most professional level – that sort of appeal goes a long way. The great red russian is like that guy you can grab a beer with one second and, in the next second he his scoring an highlight-reel-type goal versus a guy like Roberto Luongo. It makes you wonder, what else can he do? I hope the Caps win tomorrow night.