Wilbon and Kornheiser on Ovechkin and the shootout

Alex Ovechkin didn’t appear in the shootout Saturday morning, when the U.S. and T.J. Oshie topped the host Russians.

This could not have been surprising to most Caps fans, who have watched Ovechkin go 2-for-14 in shootouts this season, putting him behind Eric Fehr, Mikhail Grabovski, Troy Brouwer and others just on his own team.

In fact, no one in the NHL has more shootout attempts than Ovechkin this season. And yet, of the 12 other NHL players with double-digit shootout attempts, 11 have at least doubled Ovechkin’s goal total. By percentage, he ranks 132nd in the NHL.

Still, this topic earned more than a minute of discussion on Monday’s episode of PTI. Transcript:

Wilbon: Two things mesmerized me: Oshie’s performance – Oshie in Sochi, you’re not gonna be able to forget that – and Alex Ovechkin not being on the lineup card.

Kornheiser: Whoa! On the pine!

Wilbon: What? I mean, what is that? Look, this is all about one thing – apparently. Apparently it’s simply about Ovechkin’s relative ineffectiveness in shootouts. So you take the numbers, all these stat-heads, and you say you know what, we know he’s the face of the Russian hockey team; wait, he’s the face of the entire Olympics. Tony, the NHL is not even in this competition if not for the Russian players, led by Ovechkin, who said no we don’t want out, we want to play in Russia. Wow!

Kornheiser: He is the greatest goal scorer in the NHL bar none right now, right?

Wilbon: Yes. Three-time MVP.

Kornheiser: He’s got a powerful [shot]. And he’s not even good enough to make the first three, where you mandate three different guys? I mean, I’m watching this and I’m saying where is he? Where’s Ovi?

Wilbon: I thought there was some injury that he had sustained.

Kornheiser: Okay, this would be like…a seamhead in baseball who would say that in certain kinds of parks in night games, a lefty could get Barry Bonds out, and you go whoa wait wait.

Wilbon: Put Bonds up there. Ovechkin’s got to be out there for one chance, right?

Kornheiser: He’s got to. He’s got to. How do you sell that?

Wilbon: I was overwhelmed. We live in Washington, we are accustomed to talk about Ovechkin. [But] that was overwhelming.

Weird. Listen to it here.

(Via @ericfingerhut)

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT

Let me just present to you this caption, from The Post’s Jonathan Newton: “An Osprey carries plastic grocery bags in its talons as it flies over the Washington Nationals spring training complex.” Good enough for me.


(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

SIGN OF SUMMER

Sure, it’s still snowing, but it’s coming.

 

CLINT DIDIER IS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS

Former Redskins tight end and Tea Party ally Clint Didier, who already mounted a (losing) effort for a U.S. Senate seat, is now running for Congress. Via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, via @reefa_k:

“You have seen my Senate run, you have seen my lands commissioner run and my message has not changed,” Didier told a Pasco news conference.  “It’s the same.  We have to get government under control.”

THE LAROCHE BEARD

Yet another large beard reports for spring training.

THE REDSKINS ARE HIRING

The Redskins posted a job that may be of interest to Bog readers. (Via @maxduchaine)

The Washington Redskins are seeking a creative and qualified individual to support the Digital Media department, with the primary focus on the day to day content on the Redskins social media platforms and cultivate fan interaction, engagement and discussion around the Redskins team brand.

The right individual must take great pride in their work and pay strong attention to detail. Applicant must have a strong understanding of social media platforms and digital trends. Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment, while keeping organized and maintaining high standards in all work. Needs to be able to work as part of a team or individually.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

The Wizards host the Raptors at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. Maryland hosts Wake Forest at 7 on CSN+. George Washington is at Richmond at 7 on NBC Sports Network. Virginia is at Virginia Tech at 9 on WDCA. All radio and TV listings are here.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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