The Washington Post

Jeremy Roenick says you can’t win with Alex Ovechkin

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post

Jeremy Roenick played for five teams during his 18 seasons in the NHL, so it’s fair to say that he has some level of expertise about the fine folks who strap on skates and play the game. It’s also fair to say that Roenick is not a fan of Alex Ovechkin.

Roenick penned a post for his Web site, titled “Can You Win With A Guy Like Ovechkin?” and answered the question right off the bat.

“They haven’t won anything yet, so the answer right now is, No”. What the Hell do I know? I never won a Stanley Cup in my career, so I should just shut the [abbreviated expletive] up. … That’s what the haters say! Insinuating that I wouldn’t know hockey or how to break down a player because I didn’t raise the cup is a ridiculous analysis. Over 20 years in the league gives me enough expertise to break down a hockey player’s game.”

There are plenty of experts out there who have never won a Stanley Cup who are perfectly capable of breaking down a player’s game. Not sure that’s why Roenick has haters. But let’s let him explain why he’s so down on Ovi.

Yes, we have seen glimpses of what could be, and glimpses of greatness from his past, but if you watch him game after game there is no rhyme or reason to his game. Is he a right wing? Is he a left wing? Is he a center? There is no structure to his game. He goes wherever he wants to go and that’s NOT how we are taught to play this game, and that’s what makes me hot.

You know what makes me hot? People who can’t park. Are they in the left spot? The right spot? In the center? There’s no structure to their parking. They park wherever they want to park and that’s NOT how we were taught to park our cars.

Defensively you see Ovi coming across his defensive blue line standing straight up, not moving his feet, puck watching, which is one of the reasons he is -19 leading his team by a long shot in that category.  Yes, some say it’s a [expletive] stat however, when you are leading your team and league in goals and leading your team at a -19 you are obviously doing something wrong. Common sense and hockey knowledge tells me that if you have 39 goals and you are -19 there is probably a good chance you don’t have your guy. You are probably not doing your job defensively. I am not saying everyminus is Ovi’s fault but you can’t stack up that many without having accountability.

I’ve never won a Stanley Cup, so my haters tell me I’m not qualified to comment on this.

He went on to say that Ovechkin couldn’t have played for any of the coaches Roenick had, and then offered this conclusion.

The advantage of having played in the league and against these players is useful in understanding to break down what I see. I was the guy doing the big circle and turning my back to the puck and got screamed at for it, so I do know what I am talking about. I have been there whether you like my opinion or not so if you don’t like it then don’t listen.

Don’t be mad at the messenger; be mad at the player.

I prefer “don’t hate the player, hate the game” and “all’s fair in love and war.” Unless the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, in which case actions speak louder than words. Easy come, easy go, you know what I’m saying?



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