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Avalanche coach Patrick Roy critical of Ovechkin, Malkin for Olympic performance

Feb 22, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy watches play from the bench in the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) AP

Patrick Roy doesn’t seem afraid to say what’s on his mind.

According to The Denver Post, Roy, the Colorado Avalanche first-year head coach, ripped Russian forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin in a recent radio interview. Of course, Russia was shocked in a quarter-final loss to Finland, which meant the host team failed to advance to play in one of the two medal games.

Semyon Varlamov, Colorado’s goalie as well as Russia’s, was pulled after allowing three goals on 15 shots in that disastrous loss to the eventual bronze medalists. Roy believes that experience will make Varlamov an even better puck stopper in his career.

However, Roy also had some constructive criticism for Ovechkin, held without a goal following Russia’s first game of the tournament, and Malkin, who had one goal and three points in five games.

“They certainly deserve to take some heat, because they were the leaders of that team. That was their responsibility, to bring the team to another level. The day that you take responsibility, you already became a better player, a better leader,” said Roy, as per quotes in The Denver Post.

“For a guy like Ovechkin, it should be a great learning process for him. You can be as good as you want, but if you don’t win a Stanley Cup, if you don’t win a gold medal, it’s a bit like a golfer who is the best player without winning a Major. It’s like a monkey on your shoulder that you want to get rid of it, and I think Ovechkin is going in that direction.”

  1. stakex - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:45 PM

    Title was a bit miss leading compared to what he actually said. I mean saying the best players on the team need to take some of the blame for losing isn’t really being critical… its reality.

    • sabatimus - Feb 22, 2014 at 11:49 PM

      Cam should get 2 minutes for embellishment.

  2. operwapitsai - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    Im more interested in seeing how these two players respond. really, Malkin and Ovechkin more than anybody else. will Ovi hit 50 this year? Will Malkin finish on an all star level of play? That means more to me about their character than their slip up in the olympics

  3. jernster21 - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    “… ripped Russian forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin…”

    “…Roy also had some constructive criticism for Ovechkin…”

    I guess it makes sense, but not really.

  4. steelhammer92 - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    Ovechkin is the Allen Iverson of hockey. He’ll never win a championship of any kind because his style of play requires too much puck possession and shooting. He’s a one man shows when he’s on the ice. He doesn’t make the players around him better like the other great players in the league.. If anything, he holds his linemates back.

    • chilguy - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:57 AM

      I disagree completely.

      I covered major college and pro sports for 18 years — including Georgetown during Iverson’s time there — and there’s no comparison.

      For all his faults, one thing Ovechkin can NOT be accused of is having a poor work ethic, which unfortunately was not always the case with Iverson.

      Besides, I think Ovechkin had some other more pressing matters on his mind (the pressure of playing for the favored team in the host country, as well his father’s health) besides hockey.

      • paulwt3 - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:17 AM

        Ah yes – of course Ovechkin works hard and Iverson was lazy – after all, Ovie is white and AI is black from the ghetto.

      • dueman - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:45 AM

        paulwt3 – Your comment is pure trash and only shows how small minded you are as a person.

      • teramarus - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:42 AM

        Are you kidding? Have you seen Ovechkin attempt to back check? I’m pretty sure I’m giving more effort right now while typing this response to that joke. If good work ethic is standing in the offensive zone with his stick in the air waiting for a one time pass then yep, he’s got some great work ethic.

        I’ve long said no team with Ovechkin will ever win. If you track his teams stats the past few years, from a goals for/against with him on the ice the Capitals are actually better when he is not on the ice. Why is that? Could it be because he doesn’t play defense? He scores a lot of goals, yes, but his irresponsible and lazy play in the other end of the ice costs his team more than he scores. The numbers support it.

        Paying what, 9 million in cap space to a guy that hurts more than he helps will remove you from cup contention pretty much every year. He will never win a cup, period.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        The fact that Iverson’s from the ghetto could be why he’s such a lowlife.

    • strictlythedanks - Feb 23, 2014 at 1:30 AM

      We talkin bout’ practice mayn?

    • flyerspsu - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:32 AM

      at least Iverson single handily took his team to the finals which Ovechkin hasnt even done despite having better teams than Iverson’s in 2000 whos second best player was Mutumbo? Mackie? Snow? That team was mediocre as hell but Iverson stood up and took over in the playoffs to take his team to the finals which Ovechkin has done at all

      • flyerspsu - Feb 23, 2014 at 2:34 AM

        hasn’t done at all*

      • paulwt3 - Feb 23, 2014 at 3:20 AM

        Iverson was a hell of a player and elevated his teams. Whites don’t like him because he (very) black, and outspoken. He didn’t play nice and kiss ass and act grateful to the nice whites for letting him be successful. Not a lazy player at all, and not really any more selfish than countless other players such as Kobe, Jordan etc.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        I like him. He’s just a ghetto lowlife.

  5. chilguy - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    This is going to be unpopular, but I actually take the Garth Snow position on this.

    The entire Olympic movement is turning into a joke — the “national pride” argument doesn’t fly, either. It’s now largely about boosting the careers of already established professional athletes — just another way to turn a buck — and no longer about helping foster the growth of amateur athletics or promoting world peace and understanding (the actual intent was to “benefit humankind and to encourage peace among the nations of the world”).

    Hockey (along with basketball and baseball, when it was in the Games) is one of the worst examples. You’re taking nothing but elite players (no role-playing or third- and fourth-wing types, who are often the backbones of a team) and giving them perhaps a week of practice together — just as the playoff push is beginning — and them expecting them to go out and perform at an elite level, without missing a beat.

    One reason the “Miracle” team of 1980, as well the Soviets, is that they were actually REAL teams. They were largely college players who were together for six months before the the start of the Games. To me, at least, that’s far more impressive than waiting to see which collection of stars from the NHL, KHL, and other elite leagues can get it together, and KEEP it together, long enough to cobble out a medal, and hope that no one gets hurt along the way.

    That’s not to say that these players don’t have national pride — I’m certain they all do, but there’s a definite distraction when you’re having to divide you energies between playing for the team that pays your salary and trying to prepare to play at an elite level in front of the entire world.

    It might drop the skill level down just a notch, but I say keep everyone out of the Olympics who’s already drawing a paycheck from a professional sports franchise in other the US or overseas.

    • grocerystick101 - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:45 AM

      It is a joke. I also can’t blame the NHL for not wanting to send their players over. They get no financial benefit from it, can’t even play highlights despite the games being on their TV partner (at least in the US).

      Why should owners want to send over their million dollar assets and expose them to injury risk without getting anything out of it other than fleeting exposure to the sport?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 23, 2014 at 4:51 AM

      I disagree. The Soviet teams were obviously pros, which is why they usually won the Gold. The 1980 Miracle, was just that, an aberration. “Down just a notch”? If you want to see the top amateurs, watch the World Juniors or the NCAA tourney. It’s fun and they have great spirit and potential, but they are nowhere near the best, and if the Olympics don’t feature the best, what’s the point? Who would watch the Summer Olympics, say, T&F, if it was only for those under 19?

  6. canucks30 - Feb 23, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    Didn’t Roy bail on team Canada in the 2002 Olympics because he was sour he wasn’t one of the first 8 players selected?

    • kaptaanamerica - Feb 23, 2014 at 6:03 AM

      Roy deserved to be put on that team without having to “earn” his spot. F* Gretzky for not taking Roy onto the team without making him “play” his way onto the team…

      • nhhockeycoach - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        Roy is an epic doosh and one of the most hated players in his day. Gretzky was wise to make the primadonna earn his spot.

  7. muckleflugga - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:33 AM


    i’m curious how you or anyone else came by intelligence regarding the soviet national teams … soviet teams professional … how so ..?

    soviet players were given a subsistence living if not part of the red army club team and most had to moonlight … if on the red army team, the player’s lot was hardly better … this while serving in a military function as well as playing

    you incorrectly equate the standard of living in the soviet union to our own in the same period … there was no comparison as visiting canadians discovered in 1972

    our olympians held jobs outside their hockey efforts as well … there was precious little support from agencies government or otherwise until the disparity with russian training and ability became a canadian embarrassment in the seventies

    so tell us how canadian players survived and fed their families if not benefitting from some form of professional income …?

    and canada was rich in non-professional hockey talent at a time when the nhl had only six teams … we were perfectly capable of icing strong amateur olympics teams and did … the records of olympics success are there for anyone to see

    the whining about the so-called soviet professionals went into overdrive when their game surpassed ours … they advanced hockey and were simply better than us through superior development of the game …

    we couldn’t rationalize a communist system being superior to our capitalist system … even projecting the nonsense into sport … i remember phil esposito equating the 1972 win to a triumph in ideology … this while anyone with a shred of common sense retched

    enough of the rationalizations arguing the russians were professionals … it’s a lie and unfair to the russians and to our youth who should understand realities as they prevailed in the day … this over nauseating latter-day sports propaganda

    the fact of the matter is the soviets were a complete mystery until 1972 … after which their methods in coaching and training and diet were wholly adopted on this side of the iron curtain

    nothing occurs in contemporary hockey that wasn’t borrowed from the soviets … they put the science and coaching and advanced strategy into the sport as it exists in the present

    before the soviets came, our hockey was primitive … tretiak said as much in 1972 … watch the contemporary game and its brutality

    ask yourself if it’s any less primitive

    • nhhockeycoach - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      You couldn’t possibly be any more wrong on your claims about the Russian Red Army teams of the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. You’d have to be a complete idiot (you are) to pretend that these guys in Russia weren’t “professionals” and didn’t live extravagant lifestyles compared to their fellow countrymen.

      Many intelligent people (obviously not you) also know that the Soviet system (the trap) was nothing new and when Fred Shero adopted it and won a couple of cups we were subjected to 20 years of some of the most boring hockey ever played because of the copycat effect.

      Either way Comrade, you outed yourself as a pathetic communist with one simple sentence in your post; “we couldn’t rationalize a communist system being superior to our capitalist system” and it appears that your knowledge of hockey, economics, and world history are nil.

      • jimeejohnson - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        You outed yourself as a pea brain right wing loser.

  8. icrew29 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    When OV is on the ice the team is playing with 4 1/2 players. Defense wins hockey games and this so called GR8 has a +/- of -17 in the NHL. if he was Canadian or American he would not have made either Olympic team.

    • cobra617 - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      Are you completely stupid? Or just when it comes to hockey?
      – The +/- is one of the most worthless stats for wingers and to some extent centers. Poor goaltending and poor defense play a bigger role in +/- when it comes to a winger. The Caps have had a mediocre to bad defense Ovechkin’s entire career. As for goaltending, they’ve had short spurts of decent goaltending, otherwise goaltending has been bad. Also, he has had years with high +/-, why gloss over those. The Caps defense this year is atrocious. This is the fault of the GM, not Ovechkin.

      – Your next comment of, if he were Canadian or American that he would not have made their respective Olympic teams is so stupid that it is head scratching. On the US team, he would have been the #1 pick on that team. On the Canadian team, he would have been in the top 3 (mostlikely number 2 behind Crosby). Honestly how much of a moron do you have to be to make a comment like that? He is the best goal scorer of his generation. He is a 3 time Hart trophy winner. And here is where your argument is completely debunked……he is a 3 time Lindsay award winner. Let’s see what that means….3 times, NHL players, (his peers made up mostly of Canadian players) voted him the BEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE (and hence best player in the World). Last year he was a Lindsay award finalist. So add in, one more year his peers voted him as one of the 3 best players in the league.

      I know of the Canadian and to some extent, American bias when it comes to hockey players, but sometimes people’s hatred of Russian players gets so ridiculous that any argument you try to make is moot since you put out something so stupid. His big knock….he doesn’t back-check as much as other players. Well, he also is on pace for 50+ goals. Put him on a team with a decent defense and/or decent goaltending and no one is making these absurd comments. I’ve watched him nearly every game since he’s come into the league. No one plays like that guy. His motor runs 100%. He hits like a bull and he skates like a madman. He can score from ANYWHERE. Snipe from the point, driving to the net, you name the location and he can score form there.

      I think every GM in the league would deal with a winger who is a defensive liability if that winger were to score like Ovechkin. Also, his playoff stats are better than a point per game. So people that say that he folds in the playoffs don’t know what they are talking about. It is the team around him that folds. Not Ovechkin.

  9. adcbeast - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    GOOD GOD … If you have an opinion .. Keep the F#$# to yourself ..

    I’m sick of everyone feeling the need to give us their 2 cents

  10. duckyjimpond - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    didn’t the GREAT Crosby only score 1 goal???? and that was in the last game.

    I don’t hear anyone critizing “The Great Boy Wonder”
    These Canidian asses like Roy, Mlbury etc, only critizie Russians>
    As an American I route for anyone but Canada just like anyone but Dallas.

    Washington Caps Fan

    • ehunt29 - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Ok, I get it you don’t like Crosby because he either beating the Caps in the playoffs or beating the US in the Olympics or he’s taking Ovie’s thunder throughout their careers. But sweeping generalizations about our Canadian neighbors is silly especially since Mike Milbury is American.
      Ovie BTW is a great player but needed Mike Babock as his coach in his early career so he would learn how to play a two-way game. He’ll get more than 50 this year though.

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