Friday, June 8, 2018

A Change Of Heart Regarding Alex Ovechkin

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I hope that you enjoyed watching this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. They were exciting and fun and included just about everything you could want in a playoff season.

I'm a Sydney Crosby fan, which by default means that I haven't been a fan of Alex Ovechkin. At times I've been very critical of Ovechkin and have even mocked, even going so far to call him "Ovechloss".

My dislike of Ovechkin stems from the Semi-Finals of the 2010 Winter Games that were held in Vancouver, Canada. Canada throttled Alex's Russian team and an upset Alex brushed aside reporters as he stormed off the ice.

I was upset at what a poor sport he was.

Ovechkin Had Grit And Determination This Year

Fast forward 8 years and especially to this year's NHL Playoffs and a very different Ovechkin showed up on the ice. He had the passion, drive and type of play that was necessary for his Wsashington Capitals to win their first Stanley Cup in the team's 44 year history.

What surprised me most was his leadership. Alex became a true captain and leader. He was a shining example of what it took for the team to reach the pinnacle of it's sport.

When the Chips Were Down Ovechkin Was At His Best

What made Alex Ovechkin unbeatable this year was his leadership when his team was down in a series. In fact, the Washington Capitals were behind in every series, yet they found a way to win. Alex was more determined the bleaker things looked and he delivered a winning message to his team every night.

I grew to respect Ovechkin this year and even like him as a player. I couldn't help wanting them to win the Stanley Cup. Alex Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals and their fan base deserved to win the Stanley Cup. They were the best team on the ice through 4 series. They showed the greatest determination and resolve of any of the sixteen teams that made the playoffs.

A Great Celebration

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I've watched many celebrations in my lifetime. Alex's and his team's celebration tops them all. The raw emotion that Ovechkin showed last night was incredible to see. He was like a kid in a candy store. You could see how much winning the Stanley Cup meant to Alex. All the years of not reaching that pinnacle came pouring out of Alex and it was great to see it.

All of Alex Ovechkin's hard work, determination and willingness to change parts of his game, were on display this season and for that reason, I've had a change of heart regarding how I feel about him. I now respect and like the player. I never thought that I would say those words..."I like and respect Alex Ovechkin" but it was Alex's attitude and great all around play that made me change my mind about him.

Alex, you are no longer Ovechloss. You are Alex Ovechkin, one of the greatest players in NHL history and a Stanley Cup champion.

Thank you for providing me with so much joy watching you play this season. It was truly memorable!

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