Alex Ovechkin: Criticisms Aside, Its Now Put Up or Shut Up for Ovie

WASHINGTON DC, DC - APRIL 23:  Alex Ovechkin #8 and head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Washington Capitals look on against the Montreal Canadiens in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center on April 23, 2010 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Stan FischlerContributor IFebruary 22, 2012

It's getting tense in Washington, especially after getting waxed, 5-0, by Carolina on Monday night. The Caps however are only two points out of the playoffs—and a number three seed, if they can catch the Florida Panthers to capture the Southeast Division.

Of course the spotlight shines on #8 Alex Ovechkin, as we head down the stretch.

The finger-pointing at Ovechkin has not been limited to Michael Farber’s recent extensive piece in Sports Ilustrated.

Ovechkin had not been playing well offensively on Nov. 1, when, with 87 seconds remaining and the Capitals pressing for a tying goal against Anaheim with an extra attacker, Boudreau kept his captain on the bench following a timeout. Ovechkin responded to the snub by swiveling his head to the left and saying, "Fat f---."

The suggestion—denied in many quarters, by the way—is that Ovie is a “coach-killer.” As far as that goes, the Capitals have not exactly been Gangbusters under Caps legend Dale Hunter.

But most stunning were ex-Washington goalie Olie Kolzig’s rips on the current team captain.

"He just has to get back to being the way he was in his younger days and maybe not get wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex Ovechkin," Kolzig told the Washington Post.

For Olie The Goalie to say that Ovechkin may be “wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex” is strong stuff, but also a belief quietly shared by others.

“For Alex,” added Kolzig, “it’s a work ethic. He has to get back to being the way he was in his younger days.

"He should play the honest type of exuberant hockey he displayed the first three years that he was in the league.”

Perhaps that’s more easily said than done!

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