Washington Capitals’ superstar Alex Ovechkin needs to clamp his yap shut. Clamp it real tight because he’s playing a very dangerous playoff game. Dangerous. Ovechkin has decided that now would be a good time to deride Montreal netminder Jaroslav Halak’s play. This is a poorly thought out decision on old Ovie’s part. Come to think of it, those seem to be the only kind he makes.
The single reason the Capitals are even in the series, after almost blowing both games in Washington’s Verizon Center, is because Ovechkin decided to extract his head from you-know-where and get it going in Game Two. Montreal has clearly outworked Washington in the first two games of this series. And not by a little. By a lot.
Following Game Two, Ovechkin decided to bless the media with his expertise that Halak was “shaking” after a Washington goal. The implication is that Halak, perhaps, does not have his A-game. Ovie, you might want to keep that info within the Capitals’ room. It’s great to tell your teammates. Get them all worked up about being able to blow a few past a shaky ’tender. But don’t tell the media.
All it does is give Canadiens’ head coach Jacques Martin something to post on the dressing-room wall. As if the Canadiens need more motivation. Of the sixteen teams who entered the first round of the playoffs, the Canadiens have been the most motivated by far. And now the club is going to work even harder in front of their beleaguered netminder.
Time was you’d keep your fat mouth shut in this situation. And, if a superstar did speak out regarding something he felt amiss in the league, he’d get a faceful back. Halak has decided not to respond here. Best decision he could have made.
One of few verbal miscues Wayne Gretzky made in his career involved criticizing another NHL team. On November 19, 1983, Gretzky’s Oilers blasted the New Jersey Devils. New Jersey netminders Ron Low and Glenn Resch gave up 13 goals to Gretzky’s Oilers (after the Devils had led 2-0 just 3:07 into the game). Post-game, Gretzky decided it would be smart to refer to the Devils as a “Mickey Mouse organization.” They were. But Wayne should have kept his yap shut. He was ridiculed in New Jersey by the fans for years. You never know when something like that is going to come back to bite you.
And now Ovechkin has done it in the middle of a Stanley Cup playoff series! Just let it lie, Ovie. Play the game on the ice – not in the media. Ovechkin’s mouth is the kind of teammate his Capitals don’t need – so keep it shut, buddy.