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Ovechkin That I Used To Know January 30, 2013

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

A discussion of this season’s underperformance by the Capitals would not be complete without wondering, in print, what in God’s name has happened to Alexander Ovechkin.  It wasn’t too many seasons ago that the man brought home four player trophies in one year.

This year?  Six games in, and all he’s got to show is 1 goal, 1 assist, six penalty minutes, and a -2 rating.  The Alex Ovechkin that broke the Capitals record for goals by a left wing, who took home the Art Ross and Rocket Richard Trophies in the same year, is currently eighth on the team in points.

Who’s that impostor in the #8 sweater, and what the heck did he do with the real Alexander Ovechkin?!

I remember those seasons not too long ago when Ovechkin looked like he was having all the fun in the world out there on the ice.  The hockey world was his oyster, and he had the point totals, goal celebrations, and ear-to-ear grin to prove it.  Nowadays, his goal celebrations (what few I’ve seen recently) have looked like the fun has gone out of it for the Great 8.  I’m not sure what’s going on; but based on what I’m seeing, it doesn’t look like Ovechkin is having any fun anymore.

And if I had to guess, that may be a contributing factor to his diminishing numbers.  If it’s happiness that breeds success, as some have argued, then Ovechkin’s diminishing numbers may correlate with him not having as much fun as he used to have.

Yes, NHL hockey is a business:  a highly competitive business that can be as heartless as it is fun.  But go pull the video of the goal Ovechkin scored against Buffalo on Sunday:  there was no joy in his celebration.  He took the traditional hug from the guys on the ice, and skated past the bench, without any evident pep in his step.  Had the Alex Ovechkin of a couple years back gotten off to a slow start, he would have shown a lot more emotion on scoring his first of the season.  This time?  Meh.  Another day at the office.  Look at the video of his reaction to that goal, and try to tell me this is the same Alex Ovechkin who used to be lighting up the celebration reels as much as he was lighting up the scoreboard three, four, five years ago.

I don’t know about you, Caps Nation, but I want that old Alex Ovechkin back.

Anyway, I was sitting at a pharmacy waiting to pick something up today, wondering whatever happened to the old Alexander the Gr8, when the radio overhead started playing “Somebody That I Used To Know.”  I thought to myself, “I just want Ovechkin that I used to know,” and the resulting parody pretty much wrote itself.  (Yeah, I know…”and it shows.”)

So, here you go:

“Ovechkin That I Used To Know”
Parody of “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye

Now and then I think of when you won the Calder
And how the future looked so bright for Washington
You played with passion and a joie de vivre
It seemed your scoring touch would never leave
Those days were hopeful, and that hope I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of iffy
And being just another player, just not so great
But we can’t seem to get past early May
At least you can still collect your pay
I just miss the days when you could score one in a jiffy

But you didn’t have to lose your touch
And drive DC completely nuts with your lack of performance
We may not need a hundred four
But you make six million plus ’cause you get paid to score

No, you didn’t have to fade away
And leave us wondering if we should have picked Evgeni Malkin
They can’t move your fat contract, though
So now I need Ovechkin that I used to know

Now I need Ovechkin that I used to know
Now I need Ovechkin that I used to know

Now and then I think of all those playoff series losses
And wond’ring if another goal from you’d have won some games
The Cup won’t come to Washington
If you keep doing what you’ve done
I know that you’re much better, though
So I need to see lots more of the Ovechkin that I used to know

Because you just don’t have to play like this
Make out like you just don’t care and leave your fanbase hungry
You may not score three every game,
But who you are and who you were just simply aren’t the same

No, you don’t have to score every goal
Just be the player that deep down inside you know you can be
I’ll be right there to cheer the show
When you bring back Ovechkin that I used to know

Ovechkin, that I used to know, etc. (Outro)


Look, I like Alexander Ovechkin a lot, as a player and as a citizen of DC.  He’s a genuinely good guy, and we’re lucky to have him here in Washington.  But I miss those days when walking into Verizon Center always meant wondering, “Okay, how will Alexander Ovechkin amaze us tonight?”  Nowadays, I’m wondering, “Okay, will Alexander Ovechkin even score tonight?”

Alexander Ovechkin is better than this.  I know it.  Caps fans know it.  I’d bet money the whole hockey world knows it.  And I’m pretty sure that in his heart of hearts, Ovechkin knows it, too.

Look, I know some of this is a bit heavy-handed–the Malkin reference is probably a bit much–but darn it, I know there’s a world-class hockey player in that #8 sweater somewhere.  I just hope I get to see more of it, especially given how badly the Caps are doing at this point in the season.

So, yeah…I want to see Ovechkin that I used to know.




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