It’s hard to imagine that less than 2 years ago, every analyst was extremely critical about Alex Ovechkin and his declining play. That was justified because Alex Ovechkin was struggling and not playing at the level that everyone knew that he could play at. Since March, Alex Ovechkin has silenced all of his critics and now those same analysts who criticized him now adore him. All except for one. Marty McSorley. McSorley is a hockey analyst for Sportsnet. He clearly hates Alex Ovechkin, and let it be known in a rant.
McSorley says a lot of stupid stuff in this, so let me point out some of the gems and give my two cents.
Alex Ovechkin is hype. Would you trade him for Sidney Crosby? Would you trade him for Jonathan Toews? Anze Kopitar? Ryan Getzlaf? No, you wouldn’t do that!
OK. Alex Ovechkin is hype. Well, what is hype? Let’s define it. Hype is simply “extravagant publicity”. While Ovechkin is talked about a lot, he deserves to be talked about a lot. He’s an extremely special player. I mean, at least he’s not talked about non-stop when he’s injured like Crosby. I’d define that as hype. And I’m glad that Marty McSorley, someone who has absolutely no understanding of how an NHL front office works (beginning to see why he hasn’t had a front office job if he would trade Getzlaf for Ovechkin), feels that the Capitals would even consider trading Alex Ovechkin.
Hype can also be defined as “undeserved fame”. The kind of undeserved fame one gets from playing alongside Wayne Gretzky and still only managing to score at most 41 points in one season with him. Ovechkin would have FAR more than 41 points in one season with Gretzky as his center. Heck, Ovi might get to 50 goals in 41 games in that hypothetical scenario.
He’s minus-14 on a team that’s 20-14-5.
When I heard him say this, I literally started laughing out loud. Plus/minus rating is not and has not been a relevant stat. It’s the equivalent of pitcher wins- it has more to do with the players around you rather than you. You get a minus if your teammate blows his coverage. You get a minus if you make an outstanding defensive play but your goalie allows a soft goal. Is it Ovechkin’s fault that of the 16 goals the Capitals have scored at even strength with Ovechkin on the ice, he’s scored 13 of them? No, that just shows how ineffective the rest of his team is. I guess I can understand why McSorley loves plus/minus so much though, seeing as how the only individual award he won in his career was the 1990-1991 NHL Plus-Minus Award. I’m sure playing alongside Wayne Gretzky didn’t pad those stats at all.
Yes, he’s got courage. We saw with Dale Hunter. Dale Hunter, look at him, he’s blowing a gasket there because Alex Ovechkin plays through everybody else’s shift, he cheats on the ice, 5-on-5 he’s atrocious.
So just because Hunter didn’t like having a wide-open offense (one that Ovechkin needs considering a lot of what he does is on the fly), that means he’s atrocious? Got it. I will concede that Ovechkin is below-average defensively. But it’s not due to a lack of effort. However, he is showing improvement and he tries his best, plus he’s kind of really good at generating offense, so that makes up for any defensive struggles that he has. To me, “atrocious” better defines McSorley’s NHL career than Alex Ovechkin, but hey, what do I know?
He’s got a long way to go to get hockey people to believe that he’s in the MVP category.
Really? Pretty sure Ovechkin beat Crosby in the Hart Trophy voting last year. McSorely has no MVP vote, but yeah, way to insult the 50 voters who gave him their first place vote. He’s won the Hart Trophy three times. If that doesn’t put him in the MVP category, I’d love to hear what does. Fun fact by the way- McSorely never got even ONE Hart Trophy vote in his career. Not even a tenth place vote. NOTHING.
You know, lot of guys, and I try to do it too, we spend time with these young kids that are learning the game. I do not think this is an example that the young kids need to watch.
Well Mr. McSorely, I’m sure you are a shining beacon of decency in a world of darkness! I mean, it’s not like you’re a goon who got charged with assault with a deadly weapon when you deliberately attempted to end a player’s career or anything. And, hypothetically of course, if you did do such a thing, it’s not like you’d be dumb enough to challenge the ruling by saying that you weren’t aiming for the guy’s head, you were just aiming for his shoulder, right?
Oh wait. Yeah, you actually did all that.
Hey Marty, pretty sure that’s not being an example that our kids need to watch! I think Marty McSorley is just mad that Alex Ovechkin, despite playing in 322 less games than our pal Marty, already has 417 more points and 293 more goals than him. Since Marty loves plus/minus so much, let me point out that Ovechkin’s career plus/minus rating is +67, while Marty’s is a whopping -18.
My closing thoughts on Marty McSorley’s angry rant: