Archive for Evgeni Malkin

The Race for Last

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 23, 2010 by mwalle1

As the NHL regular season nears an end and teams fight for playoff positions, there is a completely different race going on, the race for last place.

Every year there seems to be a highly coveted prospect that teams who finish near the bottom of the standings have a chance of drafting.  The NHL uses a lottery system to determine who will get the first selection during the draft.  Only team who finish 26th or lower in the standings have a chance at the top pick. 

A season full of misery could lead to many seasons full of promise and playoff births.  Take the Capitals for instance.  After another long season near the bottom of the standings in 2003-04, the Capitals finished 27th overall and had a 14.2 percent of drafting first overall in the upcoming draft, a pick sure to be used on a prospect named Alexander Ovechkin.  The Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins both beat the Capitals in the race for last place, but the Caps jumped two spots and drafted Ovechkin while the Penguins settled for Evgeni Malkin and the ‘Hawks got Cam Barker. 

A year of terrible hockey resulted in the best player in the world coming to the District and some of the most exciting hockey Washington has ever seen.  The Caps are now Cup favorites and have a talented young core that promises to produce for years to come and all because of one bad year of hockey.  That’s not to say team throw the rest of the season if they’re close to the bottom of the standings, but teams and even their fans know a talented, young prospect is better than a few meaninless wins in the standings at the end of the year.


Ovechkin Shines on the World Stage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by mwalle1

Alex Ovechkin is one of the best, if not the best, hockey players in the world and he is proving it at this year’s Winter Olympics. 

Ovechkin has been the star of a Russian team stacked with talent and his ability to change the course of a game was on display during Sunday’s 4-2 win over the Czech Republic.  The current Capital laid out former Capital Jaromir Jagr with a center ice hit that led to an odd man rush and an eventual goal for his Russian teammate Evgeni Malkin.  The hit was just another in a long line that Capitals fans have seen, but for Olympic play, was a breath of fresh air.

Alex Ovechkin is a playmaker, a goal scorer and a physical presence all wrapped in to one and possibly not since the days of the Great Gordie Howe has the league, or the world for that matter, seen anything like him. 

Hockey fans around the world love him and perhaps none more than his fans in Washington and the surrounding areas.  On a recent trip to the Green Turtle in Hagerstown, MD, about an hour outside of Washington, to watch a Caps/Penguins game the room was filled with Ovechkin jerseys.  As the Ovechkin reeled off another great performance, scoring a hat trick, I turned to the guy wearing a Ovechkin jersey beside me and before I could say anything he said, “he’s the best player this team will ever have and the best player we’ll ever have a chance to watch.”

Touche fellow Caps fan, touche.