The View from Here: Alex Ovechkin vs. Anyone

Steven J. WardContributor IMarch 29, 2009

WASHINGTON - MARCH 27: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his first period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 27, 2009 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

When hearing the name "Alexander Ovechkin" for the first time, I had a feeling stardom was merely a slap shot away. Sometimes poetics transcend the physical form and stir the senses, allowing a preview amid the form of prognostication. Such was Alex Oveckhin, as he arrived like a lightning bolt from Moscow.

However, all was not quite so cut and dried amid the skeptical hierarchy of many NHL cities.  Though only 16 years old and known to be a tremendous liability on defense, Ovechkin was coveted nonetheless by the Florida Panthers as an underage sixth round draft pick, a pick that was eventually dismissed by the NHL.

Two years later, the Washington Capitals edged out the Penguins of Pittsburgh for the number one draft pick; they chose Alex without a second thought and never looked back.

Quickly earning the moniker "Alexander The Great", his impact was immediate and resounding, as other teams would attempt anything to knock him from his game.  The strategy never worked because A.O. was too fast, too skilled and surprisingly far too tough to yield amid such pressure.

He possessed something that all the greats possess, and comes to define the greatest as just that.  He had a mean streak in him that became his personality as soon as those razor edged stainless steel blades touched the ice!

As his career has taken shape Alex Ovechkin has come to dominate the game on several levels, and at only 24 years of age is a lock to tighten his already fearless grip.
"I know if I had to choose one present day star to be a cornerstone of my franchise," said one rival General Manager, "no question who it would be-no question at all.  Alexander Ovechkin."

If you get the opportunity to see the guy play, I urge you to take full advantage of it; watch him, study him and you'll marvel the way everyone else does. This guy is absolutely the best!