February 11, 2010

WRA 2/11/10 and Ovechkin Is a Brat

Before I get to the stats, I just have to say that I no longer like Alex Ovechkin. Paula and I (especially Paula...you'll hear about it) have always been fond of Ovechkin and his wacky antics. While I'm no fan of obnoxiously arrogant players that won't shut up (such as Avery or Roenick), I didn't mind Ovechkin's clowning. His insanity seemed endearingly harmless, and I respected him as a player enough to accept it. I thought he was a puppy, just needing some vodka and to be let out to play hockey every now and then. I even argued with people who claimed he was a dirty player, saying he was physical and passionate.

The last time the Bruins played the Capitals, on February 2nd, Johnny Boychuck laid a solid hit on Ovechkin. Alex took this very personally and for the rest of his shift tracked Johnny Boy down and hit him three more times. I actually understand that part. While it was a little bit of a hissy fit, Ovechkin didn't do anything illegal. He was standing up for himself. What he did at the end of the shift is what upset me. He went to dump the puck into the Bruins zone with time and plenty of space down the boards. Instead, Ovechkin shot it straight at Johnny Boy, hitting him in the upper chest. A player like Ovechkin knows exactly where he's shooting the puck. Retaliating for a hit with more legal, hard hits? Hate your target, but respect your style. Retaliating for a hit by shooting a puck at the guy's face on purpose? When that face is as nice as Jonny Boychuck's? Fuck you, Alexander Ovechkin.

In related news, Johnny Boychuck's face was broken in the game against Vancouver. First Andrew Ference's groin and now this. Curse you, hockey gods!

Onto the stats.

1. San Jose (2.43)
2. Chicago (5.71)
3. Vancouver (7.86)
4. Buffalo (8.00)
5. Colorado (9.57)
6. Washington (10.43)
7. Montreal (11.43)
8. New Jersey (11.57)
9. Philadelphia (11.71)
10. BOSTON (12.71)
11. Phoenix (13.00)
12. Los Angeles (13.57)
13. NY Rangers (14.14)
14. Calgary (15.00)
15. Detroit (15.57)
16. Anaheim (15.71)
17. Ottawa (16.14)
18. Pittsburgh (16.29)
19. Tampa Bay (16.86)
20. St. Louis (17.57)
21. Atlanta (17.86)
22. Dallas (18.14)
23. Nashville (18.29)
24. Minnesota (18.43)
25. Columbus (19.57)
26. Tampa Bay (16.86)
27. Carolina (22.00)
28. Toronto (24.43)
29. Edmonton (26.14)
30. NY Islanders (26.86)

San Jose has Bruins-last-year kind of good numbers. Now all they need is Marian Hossa, and they're sure to win the Cup! But seriously, they're 1st in Save%, 2nd in goals for, and 3rd in goals against, power play, and penalty kill. That's balance.

The Bruins are, for the third week in a row, 30th in goals for. Though they've played better recently, it's clear that they're not a well-balanced team. Some people think they're one difference maker away from being there, but is it really worth the potential price tag? The Bruins have only shown flashes of the chemistry and winning system they had last year. They haven't played with enough confidence to be the opportunistic team they were back then, capitalizing on every mistake with a deadly transition game. When they do make good plays, no one player has consistently come through to finish the job. We need help, but can one passionate goal scorer really make enough of a difference? Possibly, yeah. As long as the price tag isn't too high, I'm down. I'm sick of mediocrity.

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