Sunday, November 08, 2009

Russian History

There seems to be some uncertainty as to when Alex Ovechkin will return to the lineup. Ovechkin remarked in an interview with Dmitry Chesnokov that he will miss 4-5 weeks. The Capitals issued a statment disputing the validity of this report.

Whatever, it appears Ovechkin will be out a while longer, whether that is few games or a few weeks. Russian machine might not break, but it occasionally gets dinged. Does this threaten the Caps' playoff hopes? Probably not. The Southeast Division is stumbling badly out of the gate with three teams in the bottom four of the conference and another -- Tampa Bay -- that is hanging onto a top-eight slot by virtue of dragging games into extra time (no team in the East has more extra time, one-point losses).

With respect to making the playoffs, Ovechkin's absence might come back to haunt the Caps at some point, but we doubt it. We are, instead, reminded of another Russian -- Sergei Fedorov. Fedorov missed 61 games of the 1997-1998 season, not to injury, but to a holdout. That was the year that Fedorov was tendered an offer sheet by the Carolina Hurricanes that could have paid him up to $38 million, with bonuses. The Detroit Red Wings matched the offer, dressed Fedorov for 21 games of the regular season, then had the benefit of his presence for 22 playoff games that ended with a Stanley Cup.

The point is that how many games Ovechkin misses now is not as relevant as how he plays -- and how the Caps play -- when he returns. And, that he is healthy in the spring, in time for what Caps fans hope will be Russian history repeating itself.


Anonymous said...

maybe he got jinxed from all the 50 in 50 talk?

this space for rent said...

No worries. Let him come back when he's ready and 100% healthy. I think it's good for the team to learn to win without him - and that includes facing some tough customers. If they can do that and then take those lessons back, and use them when he is in the lineup, this team will be downright terrifying.

Get better soon, Ovi, and let your teammates carry the load for a while. Nothing wrong with that and you'll all benefit by it.

Anonymous said...

Could you please take down the Ovechkin goal standard while you're at it? If he's out as long as they say, 65 goals ain't happening.

In any case, good luck to our boys. May they do well w/o Ovi.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused why nobody else seemed to notice ovechkin was clearly joking with his 4-5 weeks comment. He probably has no idea, but the 4-5 weeks was a joke people! He even said so as much today.