20 March 2009
I didn't say much about the celebration show that Ovie made after his 50th goal of the season last night during the recap. But it has got people talking, so I'll discuss. So Ovie get's his 50th goal of the season, which I think is fantastic, but then he did a preplanned celebration. Here's the video:
I like Ovechkin as a player. I think he brings excitement to the game. 50 goals in 3 out of the 4 season's he's played? Shit, that's freaking fantastic. If I were a fan of the Caps 50 goals a season from a dynamic player would get me excited. But last night I think it was a little overboard.
The little 'fire dance' was planned prior to the game. It wasn't an in the heat of the moment celebration, no, he gave this one some thought. The goal was the first goal of the game, and Ovechkin treated the stick like it was lava or on fire. The best part is the fact that he tried to get Mike Green to get in on the dance, but Mike Green looked like he wanted no part of it.
I was not in the Don Cherry camp when he said that Canadian kids shouldn't be like Ovechkin, rather they should be more like Crosby or Thornton. I think goal celebrations are great. After scoring a goal a player should be able to celebrate with a good fist pump, jump on his teammates or the boards or whatever his move is. It's true that not every player celebrates like Ovie, if Joe Thornton doesn't want to celebrate like Ovie, then that's fine, that's his style. What Cherry did say a couple weeks ago, was that down the road, some player will not enjoy the show, and get Ovie. Now Ovechkin is not a small player, he can hold his own, but eventually, some player will see this, and want to teach him a lesson.
Ovechkin's display was not in Washington, no, it was IN Tampa. I thought the celebration looked ridiculous, but what got me, is that he displayed this premeditated celebration at the St. Pete Times Forum. The response to the celebration had this been a home game for Ovie, maybe it would have been celebrated. The Caps will be back in our rink next Friday, and I can't see how that game will be an easy one for him. If you showboat in front of the home team you are making yourself a marked man. And let's not get away from the fact that this is not the NFL.
You can count on Don Cherry tomorrow night to be talking about this. I look forward to it.
The response back from around the NHL so far isn't endorsing the celebration.
Tocchet gave an interview that said:
"He came down a notch in my book after that. I grew up in the old days in the Spectrum, and that first period after that happened, it might have been a three-hour first period. So, it's not something I like. It's hard for me to accept to see that in our building for somebody to do that."
-from Lightning Strikes
Malone on TSN
"I was in the [penalty] box at the time, but you remember something like that and make sure he pays the right way," Malone told the Tampa Tribune. "He's going to do what he's going to do and it's up to us to react the way we should."
So this should make next Friday's game interesting. From what Malone said, he will remember, and from what Tocchet said, does that mean he'll turn a blind eye from a potential fight? If not this game, there is always another, or next season.
I'm all for celebrations and excitement in the game. If Bettman wants to encourage new fans to the spot, exciting players like Ovechkin is great for it. Celebrations and showing that the players are having fun winning is awesome. I just think this one went a little too far.