Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is a 3-time Hart Trophy winner and if his statistics over his first decade in the NHL say anything, one of the best players ever. At only 28-years-old he has surpassed the 400-goal mark and there looks to be plenty more ahead.
Consistently one of the best at tallying goals for his team, Ovechkin is still one of the most selfish players in the league. In hockey selfish play cannot be categorized as leadership. A complete team sport, Ovechkin may be preventing the Capitals from ever raising the Stanley Cup.
Ovechkin’s one-dimensional play is not difficult to notice. Before relying on numbers anyone can see he lacks defensive skills and seems to hog the puck from teammates. He might be the best option to score goals, but it sometimes come at the expensive of winning.
In every season he has played, with the exception of one, Ovechkin has led the league in shots on goal. When you score as much as he does this is justifiable. However since the Capitals have not made it further than the Conference Semi-Finals since Ovechkin joined the team one has to wonder just how valuable this one star player is.
The 2013-2014 season will show more than any what a one-way player Ovechkin has evolved into. His plus/minus may finish at the league’s worst, in the negatives 30s. Chances are he will finish the season as the league’s leading goal scorer for a team who will have to slip into the playoffs if they can get their act together. This achievement, leading the league in goals and having the worst plus/minus, is the pure definition of a player who cares about himself more than the team as a whole.
For all the negative words people have for Sidney Crosby, there is no denying that he is a team player and a winner. Meanwhile Ovechkin’s assist totals match average players and he has done nothing to improve the players around him.
Odds are at this point Ovechkin has developed into the player he will always be. He cares about his own statistics and leaves the defense out to dry when the puck goes the other way. Fans of the team may have the privilege to see one of the best offensive players, but that’s all he is. Once his career is through people may barely remember Ovechkin other than his place on a stat sheet.