Ovechkin's three hits in 12 seconds
Montreal's first-minute goal on Monday night prevented us all from nattering about the performance turned in by Alex Ovechkin earlier in that minute.
You'll recall that his apparently passive style had gotten a lot of ink after Thursday night's Game 1 loss.
"I don't know why, but last game, I don't feel that power or something," Ovechkin said after that game. "It's not about Montreal. It's all about me."
"The top guys on the team, the guys that play the most minutes, usually have an infectious [effect]," Brooks Laich said at the same time. "If you see the top guys running and gunning and playing hard and playing defense, it really inspires the other guys."
Well, it didn't take long for the power and the running and the gunning to return. Let's call it 12 seconds.
Ovechkin comes on the ice with 19:24 on the clock. With 19:23 on the clock, he's already lined up his first victim: Marc-Andre Bergeron.
And, contact. Ovechkin seems to have gotten the better of this collision. "It was Bergeron, my first hit, and you know, he's not that strong [a] guy," Ovechkin said later. "It was mentally good for me."
Bergeron decides to take a breather on the ice. Ovechkin, meanwhile, moves on, since his current ratio of one hit per two seconds is slightly disappointing.
Say, there's someone wearing the wrong color uniform. What say I throw my body into his, just sort of for the heck of it?
Look ma! No feet!
Ovechkin outweighs Andrei Markov by about 25 pounds. Markov loses this particular collision. Now he, too, figures he'd best recoup from ice-level.
It's now been at least one or maybe two seconds since Ovechkin has made contact with enemy flesh. And he's feeling a bit lonely. Realizing that the action seems to have returned to the boards, where it first began, he punches up a new flight plan. ETA is maybe 1.4 seconds from now. Buckle your seat belts, and by all means tuck away those carry-on items.
Hey guys, what's up? Can I play, too?
Well, the attempt sort of glanced off Scott Gomez, and this time, no one falls down. Not for lack of effort, though.
And 12 seconds after Ovechkin's shift started, he skates away from the bodies, touching his hand to his head possibly to tip his hat to the crowd, or maybe to make sure his head is still there.
After the game, of course, Ovechkin made light of the suggestion that he was out for a pound of Canadien bacon.
"Strategy? Just destroy people?" he said with a laugh. "No, no my job's to score goals. And if I have a chance to hit somebody, I'm gonna hit him."
Or three somebodies. In 12 seconds. Either way.
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