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'Breakaway Challenge' Rewind

Seemed to me that only a couple of the competitors in last night's SuperSkills Breakaway Challenge actually understood what the event was about. It was about creativity. So does it surprise you that Alex Ovechkin got it?

In case you missed it, or you just want to watch Ovechkin's "hockey baseball move" again check it out here:

One other observation from this weekend: while Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (arguably) remains the league's most popular player, the gap between his popularity and Ovechkin's appears to be shrinking. Ovechkin received the third biggest ovation last night at Philips Arena behind home town heroes Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa (no surpise there). It also seems like more fans are wearing Ovechkin jerseys than anyone else's.

Note: Ovechkin is supposed to be available to the media later, so I hope to post an update before tonight's All-Star Game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 27, 2008; 2:27 PM ET
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Next: Ovechkin Sets Records


I was shocked not to hear Crosby's name mentioned until 9:10pm last night. More than 2 hours -- that must be some kind of record, unless ir happened earlier and I managed to block it out. Looking forward to the day when stories about Ovie and his popularity (like the one on aren't always qualified with mentions of Crosby. Ovie is having his day in the's Crosby who is in his shadow, and not vice versa.

Ovie was entertaining in the Breakaway Challenge, and I'm glad he won, but the event was rendered a joke due to the judging panel (two people who have nothing to do with hockey) and their pseudo-Olympic 10-pt ranking system. It was totally arbitrary.

Posted by: Jill | January 27, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse


I know what you're saying. But I have no problem with the celebrity judges. Actually, I would love to see some A-list Hollywood types next year. Even a movie star who has never watched a game before knows when he or she see something totally awesome.

Remember the All-Star game is less about hockey and more about entertainment.

Posted by: Tarik | January 27, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Here's a better video of the Breakaway Challenge.

Posted by: Better Video | January 27, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | January 27, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Tarik - I hear what you're saying about the entertainment factor of the ASG and skills competition...but the guy from FNL started out giving the highest numbers, then when he saw what everyone else was doing he started giving out lower numbers than everyone else. Kinda took away from his cred as a "judge."

Agree that it would be cool to have some more prominent names on the panel.

That being said, I wasn't really impressed with the "creativity" of too many of the guys in the competition.

Anyone else think Lucic missed the point when he was reminded last night that the ASG is about showcasing talents, not big hits, and he said yeah, but he was gonna do his thing anyway? At least no one was injured...

Posted by: Jill | January 27, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

All Star Game...out
Annual Outdoor

Much bigger wow factor. A real hockey game. Better ratings. Just....Better

Posted by: Rob | January 27, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

So do you think the All Star game should be outdoors?

Posted by: Larry The Goon | January 27, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

If Crosby is the face of NHL, Ovechkin is the best personality of NHL.

"He owns this league! Best hockey player in the World!"

Posted by: alexovetjkin | January 27, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

> By Tarik El-Bashir | January 27, 2008; 2:27 PM ET

Tarik missed "morning practice" :) Sore foot? :)))

Posted by: Papa Schutlz | January 27, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@papa schultz

i definitely woke up later than usual. :-)

but I also had a really long pro hockey writers assoc. meeting to attend, too.

Posted by: Tarik | January 27, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I am guessing that OV was saving the going backwards on his back shot for next years game....oh wait he made that one....

Posted by: Rich C | January 27, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

@Opita (from previous thread)

I totally disagree with you on the 3 on 3. I liked it. I'd even consider it for OT: 4 mins of 4 on 4, 3 mins of 3 on 3 then SO.

Posted by: mauree | January 27, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

They manage to make these events worse every year, just look back to around 1994 and duplicate.
Remember when the game was on NBC/FOX ?
The direction taken by NHL is a joke.
Crosby is in fact what it's all about. Too bad you can't understand.

Posted by: Chief | January 27, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Anything is better than SOs, your suggestion will be an improvement. But, since we are getting away from a the real game, why stop there? Why not go 2 on 2, follow by 1 on 1, then goalie on goalie, and finally, if everything fails declare it a tie game.

From my view, there is absolutely no excitement on those type of game exercises, there is no defense, no real setups, lazy and unchallenged passes, etc, etc.

By the way, did anyone hear OV say that he will be playing with Spezza and St. Louis? I like that, St. Louis is one of my favorite players and I have a feeling he and Ovie will play well together with Spezza playing center and setup man.

Posted by: opita | January 27, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Where's Tarik's article about Ovie and Nicklas? Didn't pass WP censorship board? Can someone post a link?

Posted by: Papa Schultz | January 27, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Tarik, I truely believe the Capitals will make a move before the deadline to get somebody to add more depth... The only thing i see holding that back is Jaromir Jagr... My ? to you is

How many points does Jagr need to get in order for the Caps not to pay him more $$$? I believe it somewere betweeon 75-90?

Posted by: ZackAttack | January 27, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Remember the All-Star game is less about hockey and more about entertainment." - Tarik.

That explains the crappy show. I wanted to see more hockey stuff. I go to other venues for other types of entertainments.

Lets hope for a good game without without celebrities and crappy interviews interrupting it - mmm, come to think of it, that will be like hitting the lotto jackpot. oh, well, I better rent a movie just in case ...

Posted by: opita | January 27, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like the all-star game, you have 82 other games per season (Maybe 84 next year) to see nothing but pure hockey, rather than entertainment.
No need to bash something that sells, and tons of hockey fans enjoy.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | January 27, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse


I believe the most likely trigger for Jagr's player option is 84 pts plus the Rangers winning a first round playoff. Most articles I've seen seem to ignore this as even a possibility but seems not entirely unlikely to me. He has 46 pts in 51 games, which means he'd need 38 pts in 31 games (~1.2 or something per game, which is certainly within the Jagr of old). Best thing the Caps could do is knock the Rangers out of a playoff spot. Oh how glorious that would be regardless of Jagirl.

Posted by: TripDonkeys | January 27, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | January 27, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@Papa Schultz.....the article doesn't show up on the Capitals page. Go to the main sports page and look for it there.

Posted by: Dezlboy | January 27, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Alex scoooooooooooooreeees

Posted by: mauree | January 27, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Alex scooooooreees again!!

Posted by: A Hardwick | January 27, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Instead of ridiculous gimmicks to decide a game, why not do 4 on 4 for 10 minutes..after that...its a tie game each team gets a point..plain and simple.

Legace said it best last night that it should come down to a team effort, not a skills competition.

Posted by: Tommmy | January 27, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Shees Di Pietro is good... his only GA was because he was distracted chatting lol.

These guys got game huh?

Posted by: mauree | January 27, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Why do we still have to hear about Crosby when he isn't even playing? Don't you think everyone in the world knows he has a high ankle sprain by now?!

Posted by: No_more_Crosby | January 27, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Why some people are so Crosby-sensitive?
I saw a post every time he was named (3 or 4 times during the whole exibition?) lol pretty sad actually.
Get over it he's one of the best, why hate him so much? I would have liked a lot to see him play tonight with these guys.

Posted by: mauree | January 27, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse


Its just annoying, it really is. There are so many other reasons I watch hockey and none of them include Sidney Crosby.

It just sucks when each time there is anything hockey related, it has to include him. There are other players out there that play more of a complete game than this kid.

Yeah he is one of the best but not THE best. Most of the Pens games I have watched it seems like he gets favorable treatment from officials and players tend to back off him for fear of getting penalized.

Almost every article about the all star game includes something to the effect that the allstar game is without him but the other guys will be there.

Next year, we should just call it the Crosby Showcase 2009

Posted by: Tommmy | January 27, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else watch that "half-time" show?!? Oooh, that was painful. Ugh. Oh please oh please oh please NEVER bring anything like that to the Caps games. Good grief.

Posted by: Boo! | January 27, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

@white mage
I am happy you enjoy the All Stars, to each its own. I still think it is crappy show, why take it so much indignation? Are you part of it? By the way, I am not the only hockey fan that feels this way, and you are right, there many fans that enjoy this garbage. Enjoy it. It was just my observation.

Posted by: Opita | January 27, 2008 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Opita, who slipped angry pills into your Wheaties this morning?

No need to take personal offense at the existence of a midseason exhibition game, even if you don't like it. Seems like you've got a little bit of anger there stored for anyone who enjoys the show.

Tell me, if you hated lollipops, would you also go around stealing them from small children who were busy enjoying them, and then accuse their indignant mothers of being part of the sinister pro-lollipop lobby?

Posted by: Kurt | January 27, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

That's BS that the Caps aren't one of the teams kicking off the season in Stockholm.

Posted by: keef | January 27, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse


You'll be happy know that the Pittsburgh Penguins ARE one of the teams. Everyone like the Penguins, right? How could you not...they have Crosby...??

Posted by: jak | January 27, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Do you know how long it took the Ducks and the Kings to bounce of out slumps after playing in England? I'm glad we don't go over there next year. Ducks took a while, and the Kings still haven't.
I'm glad the Pens are going though.
If anything, we should open in Moscow some day, and I bet we do, if Russia ever joins that International thing I pretend to understand.

Posted by: Whiter Mage | January 27, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Don't look now but The Hockey News has named Crosby the NUMBER ONE most influential person in hockey right now (I think Ted came in around 60 and Ovie in between them somewhere). As if we needed any reminding that Sid's the annointed one. Hey, the guy's got skills but #1 in "influence"??? C'mon! (For the record: I'm glad Ovie's on OUR team).

Posted by: tokyo fan | January 28, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

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