“Michael Wilbon’s long-term skepticism about the Capitals is well-documented,” I wrote earlier this month, while detailing Wilbon’s repeated blasts at Alex Ovechkin for winning individual acclaim without team titles.
Then I noted that Wilbon had changed course by picking Ovechkin and the Caps to win the East this spring. Well, they didn’t. And Wilbon was aggrieved. So Monday on PTI, Tony Kornheiser asked if Ovechkin had a leg to stand on with his complaints about the Game 6 officiating. Wilbon said he did not.
“You have a leg to stand on if you’ve lost a 3-2 thriller and there was some disputed goal or there was some penalty that put the other team on the power play and they scored then, if you lost a 1-0 game,” Wilbon said. “Tony: five-nothing….When you go out like this, you have to Shut. Your. Mouth.”
(I don’t think Ovechkin helped himself with those comments, but he was talking about Game 6, which was, in fact, 1-0. But whatever.)
Anyhow, it was narrative time.
“Say it with me boys and girls: choking dogs,” Kornheiser said.
“Choking dogs,” Wilbon agreed.
“I mean, the only way you can lose if you go up 2-0 in a series is to lose four out of five, which they did,” Kornheiser said. “In those last five games – and, by the way, two clinching games — zero goals. Shut out twice.”
“No goals,” Wilbon added. “And you’re the goal scorer, you’re the big guy, you’re the MVP, allegedly.”
“In those five games, Ovechkin had no points,” Kornheiser said. “Now, if he makes a claim somehow that the refs wanted to go to a Game 7, that’s sort of implying that they don’t even want the Capitals in the finals. Of course they do. He’s a big star. He led the league in goals this year. He’s the closest thing to Crosby that they have. So you’ve got to stop complaining about that. Their history is so awful in Game 7s. It’s awful.”
“Tony, there are two issues here,” Wilbon concluded. “Their history – when they take a lead, 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, it means nothing, they choke all the time. But HIS history, HIS history is the same history. Whether we’re talking about Olympic competition or international competition, same thing, where HE comes up so short and then just offers excuse after excuse afterward. I don’t know who’s more pathetic, Ovechkin or your boy Sergio Garcia at this this point. I really don’t.”
This probably isn’t quite the time to mount a defense of Ovechkin, so whatever. But at least I didn’t pick the Caps to win the East.
(Via DC Sports Nexus.)