I am from the general Pittsburgh area! I have had to hear the debate about 'Alexander the Great' and 'Sid the Kid' from the very start. Now that these two are in a seven-game series, this is the best scenario that the NHL could have hoped for.
The Pens fans where I am from have taken every shot at Alexander Ovechkin they can. They say: "He is a punk, his actions are ridiculous, he is a dirty player." Enough already! Hockey has had players who have done way worse than Ovi has ever done.
What hockey hasn't seen is a left winger with his set of skills, his presence, his flair for the dramatic, and the attention he brings to the sport.
'Sid the Kid' is great! There is no doubt about it, but if you are not a hockey enthusiast I don't think you can fully appreciate his greatness. With Ovi you see the flair! It pulls you in and it makes you want to watch to see what he is going to do next!
What will he do if he scores a goal this week? Will he go jump into the glass? Is he going to create some other type of celebration? There are a lot of analysts who do not like these antics. These people are from the old school; they are from a time where if you did these kind of things teams all had enforcers and someone would take you out!
This is something the NHL has systematically tried to get out of hockey and they have been doing a great job at it. No one wants to see the defensive hockey of the early 90's, where there was more clutching and holding than shots on goal.
This era of hockey is about skill skaters, skill shooters, and players that can take over a game at any time.
I think that Alex Ovechkin will bring people to watch hockey who have never had an interest in the sport, because they are interested in what crazy thing this kid might do next. Isn't that what the NHL has been looking for? Doesn't this make the NHL more appealing?
Sid the Kid is great, but he doesn't have the same appea. The more people that are watching hockey the better for them both, and in time people will begin to learn the game and appreciate how good the both of them truly are! Ovi is good for the NHL, and even if you hate his school boy antics he will bring the future to the NHL!