Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Ovechkin = Jordan?

King Fasel of the IIHF wants Turin turned into the NHL. I want the NHL to answer to FIFA, or at least give referees discretion when it comes to determining advantage, footie style.

But onto the main course for today - Is Ovechkin hockey's Michael Jordan?

If you caught the Leafs' game last night, during the pregame they ran tape of AO on the ice in flip flops, mp3 player jamming, engaged in a ballet with the puck on the end of his stick. The highlight reel from Sunday's game for him alone was broadcast at least three times I can remember. The coming down the right wing to inward spin on the backhand to a shot was my personal favorite. And watching the game, the kid gets a shot off everytime down the ice with the puck, if he wants. Its unreal. Involved in almost 50% of all of the Capitols scoring, and nearly leads the team in hits. That's right. HITS. (according to the broadcast team) Maybe I heard that wrong. Pretty sure I heard that wrong. But the approx. 50% thing is accurate.

Apparently his tremendous athletic ability and mental acuity is genetic. Or environmental. Or whatever. His father is a former professional soccer player, while moms has two Olympic gold medals at home.

If you saw the stick handling segment, LeafsTV ended it on a move that looked like he lost the puck, sliding off his blade behind him as he moves on his forehand. But if you thought he misplayed the puck, that is exactly what he wanted you to think. During a power play near the end of the first, or beginning of the second, Ovechkin performed this pre-rehearsed "mistake". Dangling to the right of Belfour near the face-off dot, he once again appeared to lose the puck off his blade. This is the set up. It makes the D pounce. And as the D is pouncing, he is already quickly spinning to take a shot/pass to the near post where a teammate was waiting for a deflection or rebound. It was a set play/move that looks like a quick turn-over opportunity to the D. Nasty. Dirty. Filthy. Brilliant.

The NHL has the next one coming, it just got the name and nationality wrong. And where is the Alexander Ovechkin blog? I may have to start one, though it would be better serviced by a D.C. local.


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