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01-26-2013, 11:39 PM
  #799
Halpysback*
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 8,927
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capsman View Post
So he is fumbling pucks and getting knocked on his arse all the time because he is bored? Don't buy it. This team is no worse from a talent perspective than it was 3-4 years ago. Unless you include the old OV versus this version.
I don't think you understand what I'm selling. This team is absolutely, positively much, much worse. "Talent" perspective means nothing at all. I can get into that some more if you want.

When you break Ovechkin down by skills, he's not particularly inspiring. His skating his choppy. His backwards skating is AHL level. His move repetoire has always been small. He doesn't stickhandle much. He has no backhand. He's never been in ridiculous shape. What holds him together is enthusiasm. He is the most enthusiasm predicated player in the league. His game is falling on a railroad nail with his naked ass. All of his go to moves are epic highlight power moves that other players can pull off once every 10 games at best. If you don't have enthusiasm for it it's gonna get old really quick.

That's what the suspensions, team Russia, Halak etc. did. They sapped his enthusiasm, massively. One thing he could have gotten over, altogether not so much. It probably let to his physical abilities decreasing, but he's not Keith Tkachuk like most people seem to think now.

The biggest sole thing leading to loss of enthusiasm is knowing you will lose. Putting Ovechkin on a poorly assembled team that he can see losing from a mile away will mess with him. We may all be expecting him to keep robotically putting up MVP seasons with scrubs on teams he knows will probably fall apart in the spring, but that's not how his brain works. He's still gonna get up for the playoffs since it's in the heat of the moment, but he's not gonna be going gangbusters in the regular season. He still has most of his enthusiasm in the playoffs and is still an excellent performer there, if you hadn't noticed.

Do you know why last March was such a great month for him? He saw the team coming together into the most playoff-oriented team he's ever been on. That led to an increase of enthusiasm. If you want to bring old Ovechkin back, you don't bench him, you don't crap on him, you don't force him to watch old Ovechkin tapes clockwork orange style. You put him with a center and a winger who know how to create space, can defer to him like grinders defer to stars but still play at a top 6 level. We had that with Kozlov and Knuble but have no one right now. I kept proposing Weiss and Setoguchi, but Kulemin, Grabovski, O'Reilly, Glencross, Anisimov, etc. could also be those types of players. Guys that can always be in the right position for him so that 1 on 4 against the Devils (where he was doing the right thing even though all the lemmings here are crapping on him for it) doesn't happen. On the 2nd line, you put Backstrom with 2 top 6 caliber playoff oriented players, say Clowe or Penner on the left and Ryder or Perry or whoever on the right. Leave no holes on defense down to the 7D. Put together a high end 3rd line with guys like Zubrus or Kelly on it and a great cycling 4th line. Also bring in some ****ing CIS guys (like Zubrus and the aforementioned Anisimov) so he doesn't feel like he's at Camp David in the middle of the cold war. Put together a team that looks like it can legitimately win in the playoffs. Get Laviolette after the Flyers kick him to the curb and have him run his super offensive playoff friendly system. You'll see it all come together and have all of his enthusiasm come back. That's literally all it would take.

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