This is the player Alex Ovechkin has always been- and Capitals fans seem to be the only ones that know it.
On the cusp of their first Stanley Cup victory, the Caps are poised to finally deliver on the promise all of their talent has had fans believing in for so long- capturing Lord Stanley’s Cup. Throughout their epic run, national sports media have begun to change their tune regarding the Great 8 and actually praise Ovi for being the “Team Guy” and “Leader” that he is. Here’s the catch, they’re postulating that this is new behavior that has just come to fruition. Moreover, they’re attributing the team’s playoff success, in part, to Ovechkin’s apparently new found team leadership.
We’ve seen it throughout the playoffs- Ovechkin scoring goals- but celebrating harder for his teammate’s goals, emphatically encouraging and empowering others, blocking shots, wearing his emotions on his sleeve, hitting hard, and skating harder. It’s no surprise sports media is falling in love with him. But here’s the rub. They are acting like these are new habits for the Captials’ Captain which would imply he was none of these things before. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Capitals faithful have known this about Ovi all along. They’ve watched in frustration as the narrative has played out against him many times before. They’ve seen the blame of heartbreaking playoff exits placed solely on his shoulders. But, finally, this year is different. He’s finally getting a bit of the respect he deserves.
Maybe, after all of this exposure, Alex Ovechkin’s new found reputation will carry on. Ovi is one win away from raising the Cup and finally coupling his epic skill with the championship he deserves. But for now, next time you hear some major sports news network talk about this “new” Ovechkin, just know there are countless Caps fans smirking saying “What’s new? We’ve known this all along”.
One. More. Win…