Ovechkin and Ponikarovsky

I’ve heard quite a bit about Alexander Ovechkin recently. He was the first pick just before the “season that wasn’t”, but then seemed to have been forgotten about, what with the lockout and then the end of the lockout and then the whole Sidney Crosby mania. He won’t be forgotten about for long though – he’s rivalling Crosby for most points by a rookie this year. The way they talk about him on the radio is impressive – he’s a scoring machine, who has as good a chance as anybody of scoring 70 goals in the next couple of years. Considering 50-goal scorers have been rather rare in the last couple of years, this would be quite an accomplishment. Anyway, I heard an interview with him the other day, and he said that he wants to play as much as possible – forward, defence, on the PP and PK, anywhere. He just loves to play. His coach said that he’s adapting to life in North America quite well – he’s working hard on his English, and even turned down an offer to be roommates with one of his Russian teammates, figuring that if he’s bunking with a native-English speaker, his English will improve that much faster. Nice to hear about a hard-working athlete who is playing because he loves to play, and doesn’t consider himself God’s gift to his sport (are you reading this, Terrell Owens?).

Also heard another nice story about the Leaf game yesterday – Carlo Colaiacovo took a shot towards the net that Alexei Ponikarovsky seemed to deflect into the net. Ponikarovsky was given credit for the goal, but immediately went to the ref and told him that he didn’t touch it, and that Colaiacovo should be given credit. He also knew that it would have been Colaiacovo’s first NHL goal, so he went and grabbed the puck. After talking to the ref the second time, he gave the puck to Colaiacovo, and credit for the goal was changed. He could easily have just taken credit, but went out of his way to make sure the right person got the goal. Attaboy.


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