Alex Ovechkin: NHL's Undercover Superstar

It might have taken a couple of seasons, but Larry Brooks of the New York Post has finally noticed something that hockey fans in Washington could have told you beginning with the start of the 2005-06 NHL season -- that the league has been promoting Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby while forsaking all others, something that has impacted Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin most dramatically of all: ↵
↵⇥The gulf between Ovechkin and every other player in the league is growing wider by the day. Even if Ovechkin may not be the most talented, or the best skater, he is by the far the most compelling athlete in the league. You can't take your eyes off him. Indeed, the Big O is the most compelling player in the league since the pre-concussion Eric Lindros. ↵⇥

↵⇥Ovechkin never stops. He is a mix of ferocity and fury; insatiable in his hunger for the puck, his desire to score, his will to win. He is Jim Brown on skates, a dominant physical force of nature who would just as soon go through an opponent as around one (or two, or three). He's what Rocket Richard must have been like in the '40s and '50s. ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥Too bad, though, Ovechkin has approximately one-third the number of All-Star votes as NHL favorite son Sidney Crosby. One-third as many votes as Crosby? Why, the league's best player has one half as many votes as Alex Kovalev, and just over half as many as the great Alex Tanguay! ↵⇥

↵⇥

↵⇥The NHL should be embarrassed for itself. ↵⇥

↵
↵Indeed it should be, but it isn't. The over-promotion of Crosby -- admittedly an incredible talent on his own -- began with his first month in the league when the powers that be decreed he be named the league's Rookie of the Month for October 2005. And indeed, Crosby outpointed Ovechkin by one for that month, though the young Russian winger scored six more goals on a Capitals team bereft of any other scoring threat. And it wouldn't be unfair to add that Ovechkin played with the sort of style and flair that Crosby could only dream about. ↵

↵Since then NHL diehards have been subjected to endless promos featuring Crosby, so much so, that you'd think he was the league's only superstar. And while Ovechkin may be getting the short end of the stick, he's not the only one -- just ask fans of players like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. ↵

↵

↵If the NHL is really serious about expanding overseas, it really needs to re-think using Crosby as its poster boy to the exception of everyone else. Working in Washington and watching the Capitals, I come into contact with plenty of Russians who love the game. Safe to say, they're as fed up with Crosby as any other Washington hockey fan. Something tells me that we’re not alone. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.