Friday, January 11, 2008

Absolute Madness

So, looks like the 6 year Ovechkin deal was a little optimistic. His 13 year contract is absolutely insane. Here's how I see it: This guy is in Washington, and he is, at 22, the most electrifying player in the NHL. He will be there, wallowing in mediocrity in front of non-passionate fans who provide their team with the second-worst attendance record in the league right now. If he had opted for a six-year deal, he could have gotten out of there at age 28, entering the prime of his career and able to go somewhere that he has a legitimate chance of winning a championship.

That's not going to happen in Washington. Why?

They have no goaltending, very little hope for their future in goal and an owner who is notoriously stingy. It's also very difficult to build a winner when you have one guy using up 20-25% of your teams cap space (Brad Richards, anyone?).

As it stands right now, Ovechkin and his grandchildren's grandchildren are set for life. But what incentive does he have to keep competing at the level his fans are accustomed to?

He will regret this deal, especially when Sidney Crosby cashes in for $15 million bucks a season when his current deal expires. It's always good to have an escape plan and Ovechkin has none.

It's a real shame to see a talent of that magnitude wasted in a market like that.

That's all I have to say about that.

The Canadiens!! Haven't lost in regulation since the Dallas debacle of 2007!! They're 5-0-2 since then. Mike Komisarek looked like Scott Stevens last night, the Boston forwards were scared shitless of getting crushed by Komisaurus. His presence can't be overstated. He directs traffic, makes smart passes and kills penalties. He was a lot of fun to watch last night and it has been a lot of fun to watch him develop into the dominating presence he has become.

I had this debate with a friend of mine who pretends to hate the Habs during the second period of last night's game. I said Andrei Markov and Komisarek were among the top three defensive pairings in the NHL. He said I was crazy.

Here's how I see it.

#1 Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafaski, DET
#2 Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, ANA
#3 Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek, MTL

There are several other pairings that could be included, and everyone has an opinion, but here's mine. My buddy is a small part of a large contingent of NHL fans who don't give the Habs the credit they deserve. This team isn't just squeaking out wins, they're also winning games in which they don't get very good goaltending and they're completely outclassing teams at other times. I'm not planning a parade, but I am so excited about the future and frankly, the present of this team.

Markov and Komisarek actually remind a fair bit of Pronger and Niedermayer earlier in their careers. Komi doesn't really have power play vision (yet?) but he has a better shot than Roman Hamrlik or Patrice Brisebois. It wouldn't really surprise me to see him on the PP within the next few years. When Bob Gainey re-signs him to a five or six year deal. Markov sees the ice and the game as well as any D-Man in the league and makes one of the best first passes in the game. He also has the ability to shoot the puck and score goals. This in addition to the fact that these guys rarely make defensive mistakes and when one of them does, the other is there to make the play. They compliment each other perfectly and it really has been my distinct pleasure to watch them play together this year.

Habs in New York to play the Rangers tomorrow night on Hockey Night in Canada. Good timing, as the Leafs implosion continues after their 5-2 loss to cellar-dwelling Los Angeles last night. The Leafs have been outscored 19-6 during their current four game losing streak.

Life is good.


Katie said...

Great post. The new blog looks excellent, well done.

Conor McKenna said...

thanks kt!!
you are inspirational.