If you happen to be an NHL goalie, and you see Alex "The Great 8" Ovechkin winding up a slap shot, or uncoiling a nasty wrist shot, chances are good that the puck is going to go in the net. The red light will turn on, and so will the glowing smile on Alex's face. Just like the light behind the glass, the guy is electric.
In case you are not into the NHL, or are not a Capitals fan, take note that this guy has saved the franchise. Simple as that.
The Caps went from a team that averaged around 10,000 "tickets sold" per game, to reaching building capacity within four seasons. The offense went from anemic to super-charged. The power play changed from one-dimensional to scary. Last, but certainly not least, the excitement level in DC went from near death to a lust for life in no time flat.
Now some would say that Number 8 exudes a little too much lust in his goal celebrations. Since he has been in the league we have seen celebrations in the air, on the glass, on his knees, and on his ass.
This is not meant to bring attention to Alex, and is certainly not meant to detract from the game. Even as I watched the "Stick on Fire" celebration last night (when Ovie netted his 50th goal of the season), I knew this was not a repeat of Ocho Cinco, or Terrell Owens. While this act was the furthest I have seen Ovie go to celebrate, I am sure it will not happen to that degree again. In Alex's defense it was quick, it was funny, and it was over.
What hockey bloggers, pundits, and Don Cherry lack here is the sense to realize how instantaneous and exciting Alex makes a hockey game. For lack of a better term, he is 'electric.' Now that the power has finally been turned on in Washington, why would we want Alex to turn it off?
So, he is going to score, he is going to have fun and celebrate, and most importantly he is going to bring fans to the game (probably more than any other player today). Alexander Ovechkin knows what he means to the NHL, and he certainly knows what he means to the fans of the Washington Capitals. I seriously doubt he would do anything to hurt the game, or disgrace his team. So let him show off a bit of passion and competitiveness. I think he is good for the game. Let's let Alex be Alex.