This is part 4 of a 5-part series. For part 3, click here.
Reason #4: Desire, um, underwhelms
Alex Ovechkin hasn’t just lost his scoring touch – he’s lost any desire to play hard. His recent “effort” against Philly (and the subsequent ripping he took from Hockey Night in Canada pitbull Mike Milbury) clearly show a guy who didn’t even care enough to make a show of trying. There’s no backchecking or forechecking, he loses the puck without a fight, and when clipped with an errant stick, goes down in a performance straight out of second-division Italian footie.
Ok, Ovie’s had a pretty good last 10 days. But placed in the context of his last two seasons (seasons paying him $9m per year, it should be noted) his recent goalscoring should be seen as a blip and nothing more. When the going gets tough, he’ll disappear again, as he did playing for Russia in the 2010 Olympics and for the Capitals in their ignominious first-round playoff exits – back in the days when they actually made the playoffs.
Come late April, look for No.8 on the golf course – or maybe in the hot tub. Trade him now.
Tomorrow: Reason #5 – Shake it up, baby.