January 27, 2006

The Ovechkin Collection: (Google Video) If you have four minutes, take the time to watch highlights of the most exciting player in the NHL.

posted by 86 to hockey at 01:01 PM - 24 comments

Ovechkin makes a lot of people look ridiculous in this video, but the things he does to poor Toni Lydman (#5 Buffalo - about a minute into the clip) deserve noting. I had to rewind about four times during that sequence. Ovechkin doesn't even score on that particular play and I still feel bad for the entire Buffalo roster. I feel especially bad for Poor Toni Lydman, a mere hydrant to Alexander's lifted leg.

posted by 86 at 01:02 PM on January 27, 2006

What a talent. I didn't realize he was such a physical player as well; he lays some pretty serious hits in that video sequence. Too bad he's stuck in Washington, but hopefully they can build around him.

posted by holden at 01:24 PM on January 27, 2006

the most exciting player in the NHL Seconded. His wrist shot is simply jaw-dropping. He's a complete package on the ice, and he's only going to get better. And I get to see him on April 1! Of course it'll be with Zdeno Chara smothering him the whole time...

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:34 PM on January 27, 2006

The kid definitely has skill. I love that move where he moves the puck between his legs from behind him to in front of him. How can you defend against this guy? He has so many moves. You can try to take the body but it looked like some guys got the worst of that. What I like best about him is the enthusiasm he shows when he scores. He looks like he's really having fun. And after all, isn't that what its all about?

posted by njsk8r20 at 01:44 PM on January 27, 2006

Well, people will learn how to stop these moves, and he'll have to come up with new ones. If he can do that, then he'll be filling highlight reels for the next few decades. Give him a couple of decent linemates and the Caps will cook with gas.

posted by chicobangs at 01:50 PM on January 27, 2006

I was all ready to declare Crosby the saviour of the NHL. I figured that Ovechkin was some overrated "skill" player who would wilt in the NHL. My words are quite tasty when I put a little salt on them. That said, it's still early. Ovechkin is two years older than Crosby, and lots of things can happen in those two years.

posted by grum@work at 01:55 PM on January 27, 2006

This is why I am so glad he is on my fantasy team.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:57 PM on January 27, 2006

Give him a couple of decent linemates... And a goalie. And yeah, maybe Crosby will be this crazy in two years, maybe not, but I hope so. It will be cool if the two of them can keep this up. The more superstars the better.

posted by fabulon7 at 02:14 PM on January 27, 2006

He skateing is so strong with the puck. In the video you see defenders doing whatever they can to try and stop he just shrugs it off and drives to the net. His physical game was totally unknown to me (I was avoiding Washington Gener... er Capitals games like the plague) Thanks 86, appriciate the link I hadn't seen "The Goal" yet.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:16 PM on January 27, 2006

From here:

While playing in the Russian elite league last season, Ovechkin made news when he delivered a devastating open-ice hit on Sergei Gonchar that hospitalized Gonchar briefly with a mild concussion. The legend is that when asked about the hit Ovechkin responded with, "Welcome to the Russian super league, Sergei."
That's pretty awesome in itself.

posted by blarp at 02:20 PM on January 27, 2006

I saw Ovechkin play in Anaheim on Friday the 13th. I swear you can actually feel something when he takes the ice-he's got this crazy energy. He beat the Ducks 3-2 that night.

posted by captaincavegirl at 02:21 PM on January 27, 2006

It's the physical part of his game that totally woke me up to him. He is a bulldog. I am fastly becoming a big fan. The breakaway speed and shot are pure liquid gold, but the hitting - that's pure butter. Pure steak fat. Just super nasty and super tasty. Let's not hang Crosby out as overrated yet - that kid can play as good as Ovechkin can (and in many ways better) and is two years younger in his first professional season; Ovechkin has two, this is his third. Crosby has the high-speed moves, but even Ovechkin doesn't find his teammates the way Crosby can. The best hits this whole year have been thrown by two guys: Ovechkin and Phaneuf (another total stud). Just brick walls that want to share the love.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:24 PM on January 27, 2006

AO is MJ

posted by garfield at 02:25 PM on January 27, 2006

He doesn't have a good nickname yet, does he? I was just brainstorming a couple: "Alexander the Great" seems obvious. "Slick Stick" Ovechkin isn't too bad, but doesn't really roll. If Bure hadn't already taken it, "The Russian Rocket" would have worked well.

posted by grum@work at 04:06 PM on January 27, 2006

I've seen AO, Alexander the 8, and that's about it. I personally like AO, said by the play-by-play guy like he is riding riding into town, old west style. but I seriously think he might become the NHL's MJ.

posted by garfield at 04:16 PM on January 27, 2006

I was all ready to declare Crosby the saviour of the NHL. I figured that Ovechkin was some overrated "skill" player who would wilt in the NHL. Grum, a lot of people felt the same way. Earlier in the season on our weblog, 86 actually delcared that the Crosby/Ovechkin debate has been settled and then went on to say why Crosby is the Michael Jordan of Hockey (you may have to scroll down 3 posts). Ha ha ha. Incidentally, Ovechkin is cool in interviews, too. During the B's game the other night, he was interviewed between periods. The interviewer said that he'd drawn a lot of comparisons to Bobby Orr. Ovechkin said, "Bobby Orr was great player. Amazing player. Me, I'm just player." Sorry 86. Well, not really.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:32 PM on January 27, 2006

I'm dumb.

posted by 86 at 06:42 PM on January 27, 2006

And for what it's worth, I showed this to about a half dozen people in the office today. Most were hockey fans of varying degrees, but the one who took the most interest was a dude who has very little knowledge or interest in the sport. He was amazed and proceeded to ask me all sorts of questions about Ovechkin's place in the current NHL. You'd think the league might use something similar in a mass marketing campaign. Or, you know, they could show commercials without actual hockey or hockey players.

posted by 86 at 06:49 PM on January 27, 2006

No kidding, right? At least half of those highlights made me either shake my head or say something out loud. And the guy's only been in the league for half a year! When he retires, his highlight reel will be two and one half days long, and when even the people who have never watched hockey see it, their eyes will explode while they shit themselves. Okay maybe that's a bit much, but it's gonna be a pretty good highlight reel.

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:12 PM on January 27, 2006

Sammy, speaking of Ovechkin's interview last night, are you as big a Rob Simpson (or whatever NESN calls that animated corpse) fan as I am?

posted by yerfatma at 07:39 PM on January 27, 2006

Wait, he's "animated" now? Must have missed that part.

posted by Samsonov14 at 08:20 PM on January 27, 2006

Thanks for the video link, 86. AO is definitely exciting to watch. You have to wonder how much longer he'll be able to pull off junior stuff like the "puck between my legs" stunt in the NHL. And he doesn't look like a playmaker: is there a single pass in this reel? But still, mighty fun to watch. Give him a couple of decent linemates... And a goalie. The Caps have a goalie. It's everyone else they don't have. What would be nice for next year is a decent center for Ovechkin, a Craig Janney/Andrew Cassels type of guy. What would have been awesome is for the Caps to get Joe Thornton (since he was so cheap to acquire).

posted by qbert72 at 01:25 PM on January 28, 2006

What an absolutely awesome combination of speed, finesse, power, and flat-out ability. I especially like a guy who'll just knock the crap out of you to get to the net, then unleash the craziest wrister you've ever seen. What an incredible talent. I just hope the Caps don't screw up with this kid.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:47 PM on January 28, 2006

The Caps have a goalie. Olie Five-Holie?

posted by fabulon7 at 06:07 PM on January 29, 2006

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