17 comments for “Alex Ovechkin Backchecking Clinic

  1. May 9, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Awesome. He’s not even pretending to try to get back into the play while his D and his goalie are floundering down low.

  2. hughestom1
    May 9, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    so funny

  3. JZarris
    May 10, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    You should pair this with the shot of Justin Williams diving to save a goal in game 3!

    • May 11, 2013 at 10:16 AM

      is there a gif of that? link?

      • JZarris
        May 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

        I’ve looked high and low to no avail. I can’t even seem to find a video of the play…

  4. OneTimer
    May 10, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    A perfect blend of shock … and comedy.

  5. OneTimer
    May 11, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Why is it I can’t stop watching this?

    • May 11, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Because it’s unbelievably awesome.

      • May 11, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        I keep coming back to it having decided it can’t be as bad as I remember it. And it’s worse.

        • JZarris
          May 12, 2013 at 8:43 PM

          Lol! Perfect description.

        • OneTimer
          May 13, 2013 at 12:37 AM

          I don’t know what you’re talking about (he says, returning.)

  6. May 12, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    eh, I think the gif is deceptive. The behind the net angle shows him in the neutral zone, with the play looking innocent for most of it. I think this is a case of it-was-over-before-it-started type thing. By the time he could have read the breakdown he had no chance of covering anyways.

    • May 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

      I have two things to say about that. The first is that it doesn’t matter if the play looks innocent or not. He’s not supposed to think. He’s supposed to backcheck. He’s supposed to backcheck BECAUSE of the possibility of a break-down.

      The second is, I have seen players not backcheck before. I have seen players give up on a play before. But I have never seen a player — not even a mite house league player — coast all the way back into a play in a totally upright stance, without moving his feet at all, as though he were a mannequin on wheels someone pushed into frame from off screen.

      • May 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM

        When the D failed to clear the first time, Ovi was at the red line with a Ranger, knocking him over, presumably because the play had just been in the neutral zone. After WSH regains possession and fails to clear AGAIN, Ovi is not quite crossing the blue line, and there are 2 Ranger defensemen hanging back, one down the middle and a possible threat to streak in. That makes it a 3 on 4 down low in WSH’s favor.

        When the Ranger in the slot makes a pass to a Ranger to the left of the goalie, Ovi is at the “P” on the Stanley Cup Playoffs logo. That player comes across to the right through the slot and pokes it to another Ranger to the left of the goalie, who makes a quick pass back for the give ‘n’ go goal.

        I don’t think any of the coverage here is Ovi’s responsibility or fault. Like I said, before he could realize the rest of his teammates would be caught looking stupid, it was too late for him to come back and do anything about it.

        I just don’t think him coming down and covering any of the 3 Rangers down low is good play. It may seem like it because they scored here but most of the time this kind of breakdown doesn’t happen. This is just a rare situation where 4 players ALL played the situation like crap. If you want 5 players down low just on the off chance this happens, you’re never going to have anyone available for breakouts or to cover the points.

        The responsibility for this goal falls on the players who fucked up the coverage and for at least two of them who looked just as “lazy” as Ovi coming back.

      • OneTimer
        May 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        … and with only one hand on his stick, very unprepared and out of posture to engage in a hockey play. I mean he doesn’t even FLINCH. He doesn’t even begin to consider about thinking about flinching.

        “mannequin on wheels” … lol, perfect. Reminds me of the Twilight Zone robot boxer episode with “Battling Maxo”.

    • May 13, 2013 at 1:37 PM

      But the behind-the-net angle is not Ovechkin’s angle. The angle of this clip is actually more reflective of what he saw, or should have seen.

      It seems pretty clear that the Caps’ defense was breaking down even before this clip begins, and that the Rangers were going to be at least 2-on-1 down low (it ends up 3-on-1 because 2 Caps get caught flat-footed or wrong-footed, something that Ovechkin might have seen from his angle). Unless the Caps’ system encourages him to cherry-pick by center ice with the defense breaking down and a playoff game on the line, I think it is as bad as it looks.

      • May 13, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        You don’t see the entire play unfold in this gif. It’s important to watch it from an angle that allows you to see how the whole play developed.

        It doesn’t matter that Ovi had the same angle as the gif, because the entire play is in front of him anyways, there’s no blind spots he missed or players sneaking around him. It all happened right in front of him.

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