By Louis “King of Roncesvalles” Pisano
The reigning Rocket Richard, Hart Trophy, Lester B. Pearson and Sporting News NHL player of the year award winner should make his return to the ice for the Washington Capitals tonight in New York City at the famed Madison Square Garden.
Could any team ask for a bigger of a boost? I think not!
He has single handily has taken games over and immediately raises the play of everyone on his team.
Not only are his team mates and organization happy to have him back, any fan of the game should be as well, perhaps not Ranger fans.
I wait with anticipation for highlights of this incredible phenomenon each night the Caps play. I think we all do.
Whether it's a big hit, a sick dangle undressing a defenseman or another unbelievable goal—Ovechkin brings it all. He also carries an attitude that tells you how much he loves the game of hockey and always seems to be having fun playing it.
Defensively, other teams have to rearrange pairings and game plans to limit the amount of space this guy gets on the ice.
Always easier said than done, obviously, when the Caps have him out there with another couple snipers in Backstrom and Semin.
Whatever you do stay out of the penalty box when playing against a healthy Caps team that can throw this talented trio out there on the power-play.
Rookie Mathieu Perreault since being called up from Hershey of the AHL has been tearing it up and is another weapon this Caps team has now in it fold.
On the other side rookie defenseman Michael DelZotto has been the reincarnation of the offensive defenseman in New York previously filled by now Hall of Famer Brian Leetch’s presence. This kid has it all, poise a shot heads up defensive play, any team would be very fortunate to have this guy.
The Rangers could be trouble though in this game as the injury bug has them reeling and they have lost five of their last eight including losses to seemingly weaker opponents in Atlanta, Minnesota and the Islanders.
With the boost that Ovechkin will bring to his team and the somewhat slumping Rangers dealing with injuries, I have to think that Washington will win tonight in a decisive game that could drop the New York Rangers into last place in their division after getting off to such a strong start.
I guess that’s why they play 82 games!