Watch from 0:40, one example of Ovechkin not exactly giving it his all. However he sure does pick it up when it counts in the playoffs.
Don't get me wrong. I have seen AO have "bad shifts". Every player does without question. I was calling the previous poster on his comment about AO being "notorious". Choosing one highlight reel and claiming it proves any player is always like that is problematic at best. It doesn't matter if it's good or bad.
Actually wouldn't be against this lineup at all. All his baggage aside, Kovalev is generally solid in the playoffs and has elite gamebreaking ability when he actually wants to turn it on. If we end up going with
Ovechkin Backstrom Knuble
Semin Laich Kovalev
Then Laich's deficiencies at center could likely be overshadowed by being with two highly skilled wingers (think Horcoff looking better than he actually is on the Oilers). He'd just have to play a simple two way game and Semin and Kovalev take care of the rest. If that line ends up lacking in intensity, simply switch up Kovalev with Knuble.
Not the guy I really covet, but I wouldn't be disappointed if we got him at a good price.
Seriously, you know where this is coming from? I sort of mentioned it in the the Free Agency thread we have over on the HF boards, thinking along the same lines, veteran Russian player, but didn't add much past that. He must have read the post and ran with it. That's some top quality rumour mongering right there.