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НХЛ. Овечкин признан лучшим атакующим игроком января // "Советский Спорт"
Нападающий «Вашингтона» Александр Овечкин был признан лучшим атакующим игроком месяца в НХЛ, а также получил приз лучшего новичка месяца, сообщает официальный сайт Лиги. В 14 проведенных встречах Александр набрал 21 очко (11 голов и 10 передач).
Отметим, что Овечкин стал третьим игроком в истории Лиги начиная с 1984 года, кто был признан лучшим новичком и лучшим игроком в течении одного месяца после вратаря «Вашингтона» Джима Кэрри в 1995 годуи нападающего «Виннипега» Теему Селянне в 1993 году.
Также стало известно, что травма паха у Овечкина не столь серьезна и он успеет восстановиться к началу Олимпиады.
By Thomas Boswell
With 2 minutes 22 seconds to play at MCI Center yesterday, the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin was skating along the left boards, just past the blueline with his back to the net and two defenders from the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning ready to climb all over him. The word is out on the 20-year-old Russian dynamo. Ovechkin is not just a top candidate for the Calder Trophy, but one of the finest rookies to hit the NHL in many years. Stop him and, supposedly, you stop the Caps.
Or perhaps not. Just as the league is learning to cope, at least a little,
with the spectacular 216-pounder, he is learning to adapt to the double-teaming
and star treatment that he has begun to attract. Two seconds after he seemed
hemmed near the glass and harmless, the Caps suddenly had broken a tie
and licked the Lightning, 2-1, for their third win in five meetings this
"Those are the kind of plays you see other teams make," said Clark after the highlight-film goal. "Every night somewhere in the league there are maybe one or two goals like that -- those pretty tic-tac-toe plays."
Or, as Ovechkin said, "I think maybe if I spin and pass, we score goal."
To Ovechkin, what he does on the ice seems simple and yet slightly inexplicable. With time, his English will continue to improve. But perhaps no words, including his own, will ever entirely explain what he tries to do or why he does it. That gift for creativity, for the unexpected, is the future of the Capitals in a nutshell. If the franchise can find players who can complement Ovechkin -- making him better even as he makes them better -- then this season's ugly 18-27-5 record will be remembered fondly as a time when great things were first glimpsed. Ovechkin is that good.
"Not many guys can make that play," said Capitals General Manager George McPhee. "After [he's double-teamed and] the first play is broken up, they can't stay with it and create something else. And not many guys can make that [cross-rink] pass. He passes the puck harder than most guys shoot it. Physically, he's as strong as anybody we've ever seen in the league.
"There are nights when he can carry the game. Oh, he's real. But the most important thing is that he's the kind of guy who makes your team a team. He has that engine inside. He's very, very driven. He wants to be great. He wants to be that elite guy. Some talented players wilt. He's comfortable with it."
Told of McPhee's comments, Ovechkin was asked at what age he became comfortable with such a grand athletic destiny. He grasped the question perfectly. And didn't dodge it.
"Always," he said.
Who knows what time will bring. So many in various sports seem like the next anointed one. But aren't. However, right now Ovechkin is more than comfortable with his growing national celebrity and stature within his team. He loves it and embraces it. As much as the 34 goals and 31 assists, he relishes his role with the Caps.
That sense of responsibility is the reason why he rooms with English-speaking Brian Willsie, rather than the Russian-speaking Zubrus, with whom daily life would be so much easier in a common tongue. "I must understand English and I must enjoy it," Ovechkin said. "If you come to the team, you must be part of the team. If you don't work [at] it, I think team guys look to you like, 'Not good.' You need to joke it with them. Talk about the game with them."
And, perhaps, give an occasional pep talk?
"Maybe next year," he says.
Ovechkin has power, speed, shiftiness and a love of contact, the big hit, that has earned him four broken noses so far. But it is that ability to anticipate that, his teammates say, sets him apart.
Two weeks ago against Phoenix, Ovechkin imagined where the puck might be as he was sliding along the ice, apparently as out of control as a man thrown from a car. He couldn't possibly see the puck. But he could sense it. That's how The Goal was born. You know the one: the backward, upside-down, flat-on-the-ice, blind, over-your-head backhand goal against the Phoenix Coyotes. The one after which Coyotes Coach Wayne Gretzky pronounced Ovechkin "a phenomenal player." The goal that you think must be a total accident until you see it in slow motion.
In a part of Ovechkin's brain that presumably comes from his parents there is a gyroscope that other players lack. He knows where people and pucks will go a split second before the event arrives. His mother was a two-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball for the Soviet Union. In her sport, there were five players, using the give-and-go, the pick-and-roll, a game that is schematically much like hockey. His father was one of Moscow's best professional soccer players, excelling in a sport with teammates constantly anticipating each others' moves.
"Yes, their games were like mine," he said. "My mom was a great sportsman. She knows how hard it is. But my game is a little more physical."
As Ovechkin was about to leave MCI Center, he spotted Graham McPhee, the 7-year-old son of his general manager. The boy had lost his two front teeth. "Now you look like a player," said Ovechkin, playfully imitating an uppercut in a hockey fight. The two teased awhile, then the Capitals' star -- so young he still has acne -- walked out the door.
Graham McPhee watched the player go, then gave a child's version of what every Caps fan feels about Ovechkin these days.
"Dad," he said, "can I have an older brother?"
25 января. Penguins Notebook: Ovechkin may have trophy
edge on Crosby // Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
24 января. Овечкин – лучший игрок недели НХЛ! //
18 января. Shot Heard 'Round the World // Washington
9 января. Алексанр Овечкин: "Я - 57-й, Фетисов - 21-й.
Ничего себе" // "Спорт-Экспресс"
31 декабря. Rookie Ovechkin wows league // The
25 января. Penguins Notebook: Ovechkin may have trophy edge on Crosby // Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
24 января. Овечкин – лучший игрок недели НХЛ! // "Советский Спорт"
18 января. Shot Heard 'Round the World // Washington Post
9 января. Алексанр Овечкин: "Я - 57-й, Фетисов - 21-й. Ничего себе" // "Спорт-Экспресс"
31 декабря. Rookie Ovechkin wows league // The Atlanta Journal-Constitution