Alex Ovechkin and Marshawn Lynch are almost polar opposites, but Ovi sure could have learned from “Beast Mode” going into the Washington Capitals’ Game 7 against the New York Rangers.
The superstar left winger, who is favored to win his fourth Hart Trophy as league MVP next month, guaranteed a win over New York in the series-deciding game. His Caps were unable to back it up, losing in overtime to end their season.
In hindsight, the guarantee was a no-win situation for Ovechkin. If Washington had won, people wouldn’t have cared that much about what he said before the game, because what else was he supposed to say? “We’re going to lose in overtime,” is not an acceptable response. Plus, it’s not like this was a Stanley Cup Finals game; it was the Eastern Conference semis. Now that Washington lost, his guarantee makes him look like a fool because now, everyone cares. Taunting one of the league’s most-disliked players for a statement that looks brash on the surface is the cool thing to do now that it backfired.
When media interactions are the topic, it all comes back to Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. Everyone knows Lynch’s reluctance to talk to the media at all, let alone make any guarantees. If he had guaranteed a win in February’s Super Bowl, he would be looking about as foolish as Ovechkin looks to fans now.
We often criticize Lynch for blowing off the press, but if I’m a team’s public relations firm, I’d rather deal with the backlash over my athlete not talking than have to deal with the backlash over a spoiled guarantee.
The Russian goal-scorer does not deserve the majority of the blame for Washington’s loss; he scored the team’s lone goal in Game 7. However, he is the only Capital being focused on today because he was the one who called his shot and came up short in the end. It’s going to be a long summer for number eight.