Can we have Ovechkin?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

And no, I'm not saying that I want him because he can score a lot of goals (although that would be a nice bonus). I want him because I like what he does for his team. I like the fact that he can light up his team and can inspire them to come back and win games (for the sake of this post, we're pretending that that little mishap in Sensville didn't happen) or keep pushing them forward to win When he isn't scoring, he's still almost always without fail out there doing something. Yes, the scoring is nice, but he would still be an incredibly valuable part of his team if he didn't score at all (we're also pretending for the sake of this post that he doesn't sulk too much when he doesn't score. It's called only looking at the good side of Ovechkin).

I want someone to step up and do that for the Habs.

Yes, I know we've had injury problems that has sidelined a lot of key players including Koivu. I know. But someone want to tell me how it is that even when the Habs were fine and healthy they were still losing stupid games? I think I've said before that it's what happens when the Habs aren't inspired that scares me. It's what happens when they take other teams for granted that has me freaking out. They get burned and they seem unable to get themselves out of the holes that they did for themselves. They could have pulled themselves out of that mess in Atlanta, and they probably could have at least made a better effort out of the New Jersey game too. I can accept losses. I have to. But it's very hard to accept losses when they come when the team doesn't play well for seemingly no reason.

Yes, some of the rookies that have come up have fired up the team, but you can't keep bringing new guys every eight games or so to get the team going (and let's be honest, that's about how long it takes for the intial high of being in the NHL to wear off). You need permanent members of the team to step up and do something.

It's not that they don't have guys that work hard. They do. Look at Lapierre and Kostopoulos (and Latendresse since he's been put on their line). Those guys almost always work really hard every game. The problem is, it's not rubbing off on the guys who have the more natural ability and talent to put the puck into the back of the net. Yes, Kovalev, I'm looking at you. And Plekanec too. I'd glare at Lang too but actually he has been doing well since putting put on the same line as the Kostitsyn brothers. And besides, at 38 Lang's kind of ancient (sorry!) and he wasn't brought into this team to be the top scorer. So even if I'm not a fan of Lang, he doesn't get glared at this time.

I was hoping that at least having Koivu AND Price back would inspire the team a little bit. But apparently not (actually, having Price back actually freaked out Halak so much that he completely bombed out in Atlanta). This is troubling. Both of those guys have been missed a lot on the team. They need those guys. But apparently them coming back wasn't enough to get the team going. It's tempting to blame it on the All Star break but I think that's pushing it. The Habs have not being doing well since losing to Boston. They eked out a win over the Predators, snuck passed the Sens after blowing two two goal leads and put up two embarrassing games in a row. You're telling me that these guys were already on holiday after losing to the Bruins? The thing is....Were those last two games just flukes or have we really gone back to the beginning of the year when the Habs just couldn't be inspired enough to come out and play hard every single game? What is it going to take to get these guys going?

I don't know and I'm glad it's up to Carbo to figure that one out and not me.

Oh and to make my day just great: I found out that the NHL has taken over the Bell Center and has plastered a huge poster of Crosby on the outside of the building. I have to keep reminding myself that it could have been worse and that they could have put Daniel Briere's face up there......


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