Mike Milbury criticizes Alex Ovechkin for ‘whining’

I have now achieved a rare trifecta: consecutive posts featuring Michael Wilbon on Alex Ovechkin, Skip Bayless on Alex Ovechkin and now Mike Milbury on Alex Ovechkin. Where is my prize????

“I try to just tell it the way it is,” Milbury said on NBC Sports Network Tuesday night. “And this made it easy. When someone starts whining about the officiating when he’s had a tough series without production and tries to point the finger away from himself, [it] just doesn’t sit well with hockey guys.”

Doesn’t sit well with hockey guys, eh? Wonder how the hockey guys felt about this blast from the past:

New York Islanders general manager Mike Milbury blamed his team for the first loss. He blamed the officials for the second one.

“I have serious questions about the judgment used,” Milbury said. “We’re getting jobbed.”…

Milbury, usually media-shy, beckoned over a small group of reporters at the Coliseum on Sunday and launched into a point-by-point critique of the officiating in Saturday’s Game 2, using a VCR to prove his point. To his credit, he didn’t only lament non-call infractions by the Maple Leafs – he noted a few penalties that New York escaped, too.

Peppering his speech with profanities, Milbury provided harsh commentary as he played, rewound and replayed clips to a stunned audience of about eight people….”It’s a joke, a joke,” he said.

Maybe Ovechkin is on pace for a post-playing career as an NBC Sports Network analyst? Anyhow, more from Milbury and Jeremy Roenick.

Milbury: “It must be difficult to be Ted Leonsis and have a superstar that seems to constantly challenge him. This year was an up-and-down year for Ovechkin. He started the season miserably, turned it on to become brilliant, and then for the third consecutive time, failed to score a single point in Game 7. In fact, he got the first goal of the series in this one and wasn’t heard from, really, the rest of the way. There was some signs of effort, but with Ovechkin it’s got to be about production, and there was none.

“This last parting blast towards the officiating, this excuse-making, can’t sit well in the front office in Washington. I hope they have a little chat before Alex goes over to the world championships and plays for Mother Russia.”

Roenick: “This is where the humbleness has to come into sports. You make as much money as Alex Ovechkin, and you are now on the MVP ballot, you have a great up-and-down season, you start off terrible, have an unbelievable 23 games at the end, then you disappear in the playoffs. To me, you don’t start making excuses and blaming the refs and blaming the league. You look at your fans and you look at your owner and then say you know what, it’s on me. I’m sorry I did not produce, I didn’t do what I needed to do.

“Look at the first two games: one goal, one assist, plus-one, no problem. But it’s the last five games in Round 1 where you need your captain to be the best player. Minus-three and zero points just doesn’t cut it for the amount of money that Alex Ovechkin makes. And yeah, it’s all about working hard, that’s well and good, but you didn’t get the job done. You don’t go and blame other sources. Look in the camera, take responsibility for it, and then move on and go to play in the world championships  if that’s what you decide to do.

“However, he got away with a lot of penalty calls. He could have got a game misconduct suspension for a hit he had on Ryan Callahan in Game 7. So to me, I don’t want to hear the excuses. I want him to look at the camera and say to his fans, ‘I’m sorry.’”

(Via @chrishowdy)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | May 15, 2013