Friday, November 21, 2014

Getting Old Has Its Charms

When Alex Ovechkin barreled his way into the National Hockey League in 2005, he demolished anything in his path.  Whether it was scoring goals or delivering thunderous checks, it was done with energy and without apparent regard to his well being.

As with many of us, though, the years slow us down a bit, but they also bring a knowledge of how to get things done without all that tiresome expenditure of effort.  Let us consider two goals, one from Ovechkin's rookie season and one from last night.  Both were highlights; one for the ages and one for, well, until the next news cycle.  Both were scored by Ovechkin cutting similar paths to the net -- a rush down the right side, a cut to the middle where a defenseman was lurking who could impede his progress, an attempt at evasion, and then an improvised finish.

Here is the first one, from January 2006...

"The Goal."  Scored on his back, sliding away from the net, facing in the wrong direction.  The kind of goal a 12-year old might try to make up when he is skating by himself on the pond after school.

And now, almost ten years later, with a little bit of gray streaking through his hair, Ovechkin cut a similar path through the neutral zone, into the attacking zone, and improvised a big finish again...

Not quite "The Goal," but impressive nevertheless.  And all without all that twisting and falling and sliding and contorting.  He's getting too old for that stuff.  Or, he's too smart now to have to indulge in it.  Just bat the puck off the end boards, and clean up the rebound.  Same result, less effort, still a highlight.

Maybe in ten years or so, he scores that goal from a recliner.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

C'mon, get that apostrophe outta there.