On Thursday, January 15, Washington Post sports writer Barry Svrluga wrote and published an article entitled "A Juicy Melodrama Adds Subplots in Latest Chapter" about the rivalry between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
In short, the article basically covered many situations and occurances between a few Caps players and Pens players that, by the end of the article, made the Caps look bad.
Now keep in mind that this is a Washington sports writer for the Washington Post, and that the Capitals are a Washington sports team.
In fact, the only Washington sports team that is having a successful run this season.
In the article, Svrluga writes, "Alex Ovechkin, the reigning MVP who scored twice, was booed virtually every time he touched the puck, because he apparently has a rift with Penguins sharpshooter Evgeni Malkin, who has more points than any player in the league."
He then proceeds to talk about scuffle at a Moscow nightclub two years ago where Ovechkin punched Malkin's agent. Now, he did not discuss what caused Ovechkin to act that way—so he was obviously trying to put down Ovechkin in that scenario.
Again, Svrluga writes, "Alexander Semin, too, was booed when the puck came his way—and especially when his second-period goal tied the game—because the Capitals winger had degraded Pittsburgh's sacred son, Sidney Crosby, who won the MVP two seasons ago and beat out Ovechkin for rookie of the year four seasons ago."
Now, first things first, Ovechkin won the Rookie of the Year Award four years ago—not Crosby. And secondly, why mention Crosby winning the league MVP two seasons ago as an attempt to lift him above Ovechkin? Ovie won four awards last season, including MVP, and scored 65 goals—something Crosby has yet to do.
Svrluga writes in another touching paragraph: "Throw in the fact that Ovechkin does things like he did late in the second period, driving Crosby into the boards with a hard check, then having Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke get called for a retaliation penalty seconds later."
Now what else could Svrluga be trying to accomplish by saying this other than downgrading Ovechkin? Ovechkin plays hard during every minute of the game, and when you get in his way, he'll bulldozer right through you.
Ovie's probably also sick and tired of all the hype the NHL puts around Crosby while he gets barely any recognition. The 2009 All-Star starting line-up proves that.
Crosby was voted to the starting line-up with a substantially large gap in votes over Ovechkin, but it has already been proven that Pittsburgh had set up a repetitive voting machine that continuously voted for Crosby online again and again, while Washington just left the voting up to a fair run for the fans.
Svrluga also writes, "Twist all that together double helix-style, and it can't be sorted out—particularly when you throw in an incident just before the start of the third period in which Ovechkin appeared to jaw with either Crosby, Malkin, or both near the Pittsburgh bench. Moments later, Ovechkin was leaping off the ice, celebrating his tiebreaking goal."
Here again, the only thing you get out of this snippet is how Ovechkin seems to have bad character and sportsmanship, when the truth of the matter was that Petr Sykora said that he had no idea and didn't see Ovechkin do anything like that near the Penguins bench.
And regardless of that, Malkin gave a cheap shot hit in the face from behind without Ovechkin being able to see him coming.
Now, it's understandable how Malkin could be so upset because Ovie kept smashing through and over him along with Crosby all throughout the game, but Ovechkin never cheap shots. He hits someone as hard as he can with that player seeing him coming the whole way.
In the end, Barry Svrluga needs to make sure his facts are correct before publishing an article in the hometown newspaper of the hometown team he's bashing, especially when the Caps are the only winning hometown team.
D.C. is going to have to come a long way before it can ever become a hockey town, especially since it's own sports writers don't have their facts straight and criticize and downgrade their own hockey team.