If they can actually string a few passes together, test Thomas, clear the defensive zone, and establish some kind of puck possession, whether it's through a cycle or slick passing, I'll be happy with their play.
Contrary to the asinine interpretations of my criticisms, I don't want them to shun the defensive play. I simply want a more well-rounded effort that would be sustainable over the long term.
“I would rather have him, quite frankly, not engaging as much. He can hit; he's not going to get hurt. He's too big and strong,” Boudreau said on “Hockey Night in Canada” before Game 2 Saturday afternoon. “But when he starts focusing on hitting, he doesn't focus on scoring.”
Boudreau said it's so engrained in Ovechkin's mind “If you hit me, I'm going to hit you.” Asked what the response was when he tried to tell the left wing that, the Anaheim Ducks coach said: “I can't. I am who I am.”
Bruins fans are right though. We don't want Thomas pissed off. They didn't say anything about how he plays when he's ashamed and marginalized though. Whoever runs the jumbotron at Verizon needs to alternate between the Semin center-ice goal and the Hendricks shootout goal during every break in play.
(Seriously, do any arenas ever do anything along those lines?)
And that's great insight into why he's not here anymore. Ovi's response "f off... I am who I am"
I guess but I think most would say when Ovechkin is engaged physically that lifts the rest of this game also. Have there been some times when it seemed Ovechkin was more concerned with hitting that scoring? Sure, especially during the Malkin feud, but I would say overall those times were few and far between.
Basically I would say Boudreau's initial premise is incorrect.
I am not totally alarmed that Ovi isnt scoring. I mean with Seidenburg and Chara draped all over him, hitting him. I personally like the matchup because Laich and Brouwer should have been chances to get free and still score as a collective line. Let them focus on him all they want. As funny as it sounds...Ovi in actuallity is making room for his linemates.
It's the only way we have a chance. Sasha needs to step up. Loved his back checking and shot blocking. But he has to stop turning pick over in neutral zone/at attacking blue line. Those mistakes I count as defensive errors as they lead to chances and zone time. Not to mention kills that lines ability to generate offense. And we need them to lead us!
It's no wonder Chara/Seidenberg are so ******* successful at shutting OV down. They can literally throw both of their bodies on top of OV without worry of BROOKS LIKE tearing them up if he gets the puck. At least if Backstrom is out there and you throw two guys on OV, he might slide a tape to tape pass to Brouwer/Noobs that they literally just have to stand there to tap in.
The point of skating Laich with Ovechkin is to play Backstrom with Semin against inferior defense. The strategy is a good one in my opinion. Ovechkin is always a threat for solo heroics no matter who is on him. The problem is Semin and Backstrom. They need to be much better on their break ins and especially on their cycle.