March 23, 2009
Alex doesn't need to apologize
By JODY VANCE, SUN MEDIA
If there is one thing you hear a lot when watching an NHL game with a bunch of die-hards it's "Shoot!"
Washington Capitals fans don't yell that nearly as much as those around the league as they have Alexander Ovechkin, who leads the league with 461 shots on goal.
Believe it or not, even as Ovechkin somewhat flamboyantly celebrated being the first to 50 goals this season, there were some who wanted to knock No. 8 for taking so many shots. Apparently his shooting percentage isn't high enough, at 10.6%.
Ask Caps fans if they don't like the numbers.
No doubt it's not the shooting that has folks hot under the collar -- it's Ovechkin's "too hot to handle" over-the-top celebration of the 50th goal that's likely the culprit.
It was a little Terrell Owens touchdown-ish but give the guy his due, hitting 50 goals is big.
My one-on-one interview two years ago with A-O is one of my favourites of all time.
He is all flash, all smiles, and makes no apologies or excuses.
I asked, "why do you wear the bright yellow laces?"
Without hesitation he answered, "to be different, to stand out from the rest."
His style of play is calculated and practiced, "I am in the NHL to score goals, not pass; I get the puck, I skate, I shoot, I score. That's me." Who can argue with that?
Sure, Sidney Crosby is a great ambassador of the game and a spectacular talent, but the flash of Ovechkin is something that might bring even more fans to the sport.
His attire at the All-Star Breakaway competition was classic, not to mention the highlight of the entire weekend.
Ovechkin brings that extra something to his sport along with talent.
He is fast becoming to hockey what Joe Namath, in his fur, was to the NFL,
Dennis Rodman and the crazy hair and tattoos brought to the Bulls, what Don Cherry brings to the CBC with the suits. All outstanding at what they do with a big dose of FLASH.
A-O is entertaining with a Capital E. Keep shooting!
-- Jody Vance is a sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV.