Get ready for the AO love-fest. And, if you’re honest, Alex Ovechkin deserves all the attention. Even most of you guys here were praising him … until he became the playoff enemy.
The update on Chris Drury is that there is no update. He’s a gametime decision, which means he’ll probably skate in warmups and see how his upper/lower/hand/wrist/arm/leg feels.
Anyway, you just know that NBC is going to be drooling over Ovechkin today.
In a press release the network sent out, here were a few remarks:
Pierre McGuire: “He can do it by himself. A lot of guys need other players around him. He can make himself great and make this team win because he is so overwhelmingly dominant because of the physical nature of his game. He’s the best player in the world. He’s virtually indestructible. I would call him a ‘cyborg.'”
Mike (Mr. Deep Analysis) Milbury: “He’s taken it to another level. There’s no question he’s as electrifying a player as I’ve ever seen.”
You probably are sick of hearing about AO, but he is the magnetic force of this series, unless Jose ThreeOrMore makes the series about him in Game 2 … and it will be as much about Jose if the Capitals lose with him in net or him on the bench.
That’s all just a long-winded way of getting to the point. How the Rangers defend Ovechkin will, or could, be as big a factor as ThreeOrMore. As we saw in Game 1, the defensive responsibility shifted from Marc Staal and Dan Girardi to Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival. And AO pretty much had his way, launching shots like Kobe Bryant, from everywhere all the time.
The Rangers will have to do a much, much better job against Ovechkin — if that’s possible — today, or it won’t matter a lick how bad ThreeOrMore plays. You’re just begging Ovechkin to slap up three or more goals (and the requisite over-the-top celebrations) if you give him that much time and space. Of course, the best way to battle a player like Ovechkin and an offense like Washington’s is to keep the puck in the other end of the ice. The Rangers didn’t do that nearly well enough in Game 1.
But if they win Game 2, either by stopping AO and the offense or by outscoring them via their huge advantage in goal, the Rangers are obviously in primo position coming home.
I’ll be here in the Comments section with you guys all game long. Can’t wait. Enjoy the game.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 12:36 P.M.: Apparently there is a little tension brewing between the coaches — You Go, Torts! Check out Andrew Gross’s blog here.