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Mike Milbury says Alex Ovechkin lacks 'full commitment' to hockey

For the second time in recent weeks, the NBC Sports analyst came down hard on the Washington superstar.

USA TODAY Sports

Mike Milbury has yet again taken a poke at his favorite target, Washington Capitals star forward Alex Ovechkin.

Milbury, who currently works full-time as a hockey analyst for NBC Sports, but has roots in the Boston-area, appeared as a guest analyst on NESN during their intermission report of the Capitals game against the Bruins in Boston Saturday, where he had yet another series of choice words for the former Hart Trophy winner. While it was hardly the fire and brimstone that Mad Mike has had for Alex the Great on the NBC Sports Network, you can still hear his displeasure with Ovechkin's play.


Milbury's full comments:

"He's gotta' get to be a good player again, right now he's just average. The mark of a true professional is consistency, and he doesn't put his mind to it, and he doesn't put his body to it. I'm not saying he's not in shape, but this guy's gotta' be focused every game, he's gotta' want to be the best player. We know Sidney Crosby wants to be the best player he can possibly be, Patrice Bergeron wants to be the best player he can be, Zdeno Chara does that, and I think Ovechkin lets himself down by not making a full commitment. If he can't do it because he can't think the game well enough, then I guess what you see is what you get. But it will be kind of disappointing knowing that that kind of talent could lead to a much, much better performance.

Milbury goes on to speculate on who would possibly trade for Ovechkin, and claims that Ovie would be "the albatross across a franchise's neck" if anyone acquired him, before moving on to discuss who on the fourth-in-the-Eastern Conference Boston Bruins was disappointing him.

This is far from the most egregious and fire-and-brimstone sermon Milbury has delivered on Ovechkin. Just two weeks ago he became extremely angry with Ovechkin's performance in a game at Philadelphia, the most memorable line of which being Milbury demanding that Ovechkin "act like a man". Ovechkin responded to Milbury's criticism by noting his middling-at-best record with the Islanders as general manager. We'll see if there's another twist for what we can safely refer to as the NHL's dumbest rivalry yet to come.