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Ovechkin apologizes for Russian Olympic performance

Feb 25, 2014, 3:09 PM EST

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19: Alexander Ovechkin #8 of Russia looks on during the Men's Ice Hockey Quarterfinal Playoff against Finland on Day 12 of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 19, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images

After scoring just once in Sochi and getting bounced in the quarterfinals, Alex Ovechkin apologized for his — and Russia’s — lackluster performance at the Winter Olympics.

“I want to say sorry to the fans because it’s once in a lifetime opportunity to represent your country in the Olympics.” Ovechkin said, per AP. “You didn’t get the results, you didn’t get any medal.”

Ovechkin, an alternate captain for Russia in Sochi, was one of the country’s biggest underachievers at the Games. He scored 77 seconds into a tournament-opening win over Slovenia but failed to score again, and was largely a non-factor as Russia managed just two regulation wins all tournament — against Slovenia and Norway — needing a shootout to defeat Slovakia in the final group game.

The Russians were then eliminated by the Finns in the quarterfinals, a disappointing result for the hosts. Comparatively speaking, the U.S. won silver at the ’02 Games in Salt Lake, and the Canadians won gold four years ago in Vancouver.

Ovechkin said that age and maturity will help him cope with the big disappointment.

“I’m almost 30,” he explained, per the Washington Times. “I have to handle it.”

  1. 7mantel - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    Why is he the only NHL Russian player apologizing , time for Malkin and others to man up !

    • hockey412 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:23 PM

      Please see two comments down – you and the others demanding an apology make me absolutely sick. It’s hockey – no one owes you an apology, Nancy.

      • hockey412 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        And I was joking about the making me sick part…

      • 7mantel - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:38 PM

        Never said I was asking for an apology it was just a thought .

    • imleftcoast - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Players either buy in and commit to playing a system or its a bunch of superstars who are going to lose. It hardly matters when 2018 seems to be completely off the table. Bettman was playing hardball during the Olympics. He doesn’t care about the game, just his bonuses and ego. The Backstrom incident probably would have been a big obstacle, but Bettman will use it as his excuse.

    • c9castine - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      its nice Ovie did it and everything but its also kinda silly. apologizing for losing a game? if anybody should do that its the coach and management.

      if you guys can bear to read an article out of Pittsburgh, this is a really good one about what happened to the Russian team, albeit with an emphasis on Malkin….talks about Malkin and Ovechkins views on what was happening with the team and so forth.

      http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5660812-74/malkin-olympics-nhl#axzz2uHfpRYut

      • patthehockeyfan - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        Very interesting article, c9. Thanks for sharing.

  2. patthehockeyfan - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Get ready for the Ovi bashers.

    I read the AP story linked above because I was wondering about his father who had a heart procedure during the Games. The story quoted as follows: “Ovechkin said he is worried most about his father, who is doing better after having heart surgery during the Olympics.”

    It’s nice that he apologized for his performance in the Games (or lack thereof); however, it’s even nicer to see that he has his priorities in order (family).

    • joey4id - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Seems to me Ovi is doing the bashing himself. Matter of fact he’s only confirming what many knowledgeable contributors here have already written.

      Ovi: 28
      Croshy: 26
      Toews: 25

      What else is there to be said?

    • joey4id - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Seems to me Ovi is doing the bashing himself. Matter of fact he’s only confirming what many knowledgeable contributors here have already written.

      Ovi: 28
      Crosby: 26
      Toews: 25

      What else is there to be said?

    • jb8588 - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:36 PM

      Even though I agree that keeping family first is important, Ovi didn’t know about his father’s heart procedure until after the eliminating game, so you can’t really blame his poor play throughout the entire tournament on something that wasn’t news to him until after the final game was played.

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      It would be nice if some people actually read comments before taking issue with them.

      I didn’t write that Ovi knew or didn’t know about his father’s condition. I wrote that it was nice that, after the Games, and in the process of getting ready to resume the NHL season, his main concern was for his father.

      Who said anything about blaming his poor play on it?

      As to Ovi bashers, waiting to hear from the Vancouver connection with his video. Already heard from his little minion.

      • blomfeld - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:03 PM

        IT’S NOT ENOUGH !

        It’s truly amazing how some ‘flippant’ 5 second apology are enough for ‘certain’ people here to completely forget all that has gone on before …

        – USD 52 billion down the crapper !
        – 9 x fruitless NHL seasons without even a sniff at the cup !
        – threats of mutiny to the KHL, right in the face of his very own adoring fans !
        – etc, etc, etc …

        The bottom line friends is that Ovechkin will face the music one day, make no mistake about it. And when he does, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, Ovechkin is sure to reap ‘that’ which he has sown. The decent folk of Washington are deserving of so much more than this and ‘I’ Blomfeld for one, hope and pray that that will one day be the case …

      • patthehockeyfan - Feb 26, 2014 at 7:15 AM

        I tell you, blom, if it were my $52 billion, I might be upset. I assume it’s not your $52 billion either; so, Ovi doesn’t have to apologize to me or to you, or to anybody for that matter. If you want to get the vapors and be apoplectic about it, though, have at it.

        I am somewhat confused by your initially worrying about Ovi’s safe exit from Russia as you implied that Putin would exact some revenge for Russia’s loss in the hockey games. You wrote extensively and often, invoking Spy vs. Spy scenarios. Then, to use your phrase, as soon as the sun will rise, you turn on him and call him a moron for his lack of proper English grammar. I included the link below to remind you of your xenophobic remarks.

        http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/19/ovechkin-it-sucks-what-else-can-i-say/#comments

        You change sides so often (about both Ovi and Putin), you give me whiplash. Why don’t you try being less disingenuous?

        BTW, Ovi is making somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million a year. I’d say that he is already reaping what he’s sown.

  3. hockey412 - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Funny how we all love a sport in which there is going to be a winner and a loser yet we’re all completely perplexed everytime ‘our team’ loses…Ovi, you just don’t owe the world an apology. Nor does Bylsma, nor does anyone from Sweden or Finland, for not sporting gold around their necks. Nor does Crosby or Kunitz, in response to the the people that all tournament long said that they personally were going to be the reason that Canada loses. There’s some great hockey talent in the world, and those that were ready, won.

    While we’re on the subject of hypocrisy and irony, anyone notice how the majority of us, myself included at times, SWEAR that fighting is a necessary part of the game, yet in the games we say are the BEST ones…the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Olympics….it’s nowhere to be seen?

    • patthehockeyfan - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      Nice words, hockey412.

      To respond to your ‘while we’re on the subject,’ as I’ve written in other posts, I don’t like fighting, but accept it as part of the game. I’d be happy never to see another fight.

      In another post sometime last week, someone, either naively or slyly, asked why there were no fights during the Games. His/her question was, is it prohibited? Or, is it due to the skill level of the players?

    • 7mantel - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      Olympics I agree but the stick work makes up for it.The Stanley Cup playoffs ?

      • joey4id - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        What stick work? How many concussions were caused from stick work during the Olympic Tournament?

      • stakex - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        None joey…. but there were plenty of injuries to star players. Proving yet again that hockey is simply a dangerous sport. If you really care about players health, you shouldn’t be against fighting…. you should be for banning hockey. Otherwise you are simply a hypocrite.

      • 7mantel - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Joey has no idea !

      • joey4id - Feb 26, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Joey knows hockey. Eh! Sorry!

        So, according to Stakex, anyone who is a proponent of banning fighting is a hypocrite. I suppose that includes, Dryden, Yzerman. Shero, Ritherford, and Bowman. Well! I certainly am happy that stakex would include me in this elite group of hockey minds. Make no mistake about it, Joey knows hockey.

      • 7mantel - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:47 PM

        You can find other great players who agree with fighting ,Bobby Orr is one I can remember right now .

      • joey4id - Feb 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM

        That’s not the point mickey. Yzerman and the others I mentioned are not hypocrites because they are for banning fighting.

    • Moop - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      You raise an interesting point. As a defender of fighting in the NHL, I honestly didn’t mind a short break from it at the Olympics; however, that doesn’t change my opinion on its place in the NHL for these reasons:

      1. Fighting results in a much larger penalty in the Olympics than it does in the NHL. None of these guys would want to risk getting automatically taken out of a big game for their country for a random fight, so they don’t even go out there considering a fight as a possibility.

      2. A majority of the players in the Olympics are not known fighters. It’s just not part of their individual game. While there are some skilled players that do fight, it’s just not in the game plan for the Olympics.

      3. Since there are so many skill players in the Olympics there’s a reduced amount of players that do pull cheap shots and dirty hits, therefore reducing the need for the self policing that fighting provides for the NHL.

      Fighting does have its place in the NHL. I repeat: in the NHL. It’s not necessary in the Olympics, and you do see some fights in the Stanley Cup playoffs, just not the planned, off the faceoff stuff you see in the regular season.

    • rpiotr01 - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      Actually I think a lot of the games were pretty boring, pretty much all of them except US-RUS. They should have thrown Chris Simon out onto the ice every now and then to go slash someone across the face, that would have jazzed things up!

      Only half kidding of course. Good post. They are pros, we’re lucky we can see them compete in this sort of environment. No one needs to apologize.

    • joey4id - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      412, exactly……. Sure is nice to see some fans not hiding behind the falseness of “fights being needed to police the game” refrain.

  4. capsfan14 - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Says something about this guys personality when he was the only one to talk to the press after the Finland game, and now is the only player from that horrific team to apologize for his, not team Russia’s, bad preformance. But nobody will talk about this will they? He’s nothing but an overpayed, good-for-nothing Russian that happens to lead the league in scoring.

    • joey4id - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Did he apologize for last year’s poor performance in the playoffs vs the Rangers?
      He only had 1G & 1A in 7 games.

      • capsfan14 - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        The only reason why the rangers won the series was because they effectivley shut down Ovechkin. Should he apologize because the other team played a solid defensive system? Wake up.

      • joey4id - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        You wake up! You’re blind because your unable to assess your team objectively. Crosby sucked vs Boston last year. Did the Bruins shut him down? It doesn’t matter. They are paid to step up when the stakes are high. Stop with the excuses, and just produce. A team in the NHL has a quote in the locker room; “No excuses” So, puck off!

      • capsfan14 - Feb 26, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        There aren’t players on the other teams that are payed millions to stop him? You don’t think the defenders in the National Hockey League can stop one man if they put in the cohesive effort? There are obstacles out there, and sometimes not even Ovechkin can avoid them. Also, did your “poster boy” Crosby apologize after the bruins series?

      • joey4id - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        Tell me who is paid 10 million per year to stop Ovi, Crosby, Toews etc… I don’t know that Crosby apologized or not. Frankly! Who the hell cares whether a player apologized. These stars are paid to put the puck in the net in big games. Period! No excuses! Just do it!

        “The best captains possess some intangibles that can only be described as extraordinary. They have the ability to rise to the occasion. It’s in their blood. When the game is on the line, that’s when the captain plays bigger than anybody else. That’s when he earns his paycheck-in crunch time, in the clutch. He’s the guy with ice water in his veins, in overtime of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Need a big goal, a game winner? He’s your guy. If he can’t make and end-to-end rush capped off by the perfect toe-drag, top shelf, back handed wrister, then he’ll deflect it from the point with his teeth. That’s his role. He’s a two-way player that is not afraid to go into the corners or stand in front of the cage.”

        Source: “Wearing the “C” Leadership Secrets from Hockey’s Greatest Captains”, by Ross Bernstein

      • capsfan14 - Feb 26, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        You seem to be extremley annoyed by the fact that Ovechkin is captain. Trust me, I don’t like the fact that all super stars are supposed to be captains nowadays either. But thats besides the point here. Not once has one of these articles questioned or even brought up Ovechkins leadership, yet that seems to be the only thing you focus on, because it’s very easy to question leadership. I agree, Ovechkin should not be a captain, he should just focus on what he does best, and I think that “C” is a distraction at times. Every player has obstacles, if you played hockey, you’d know, so you can’t use one series against him. If you take a look at the stats he has 61 points in 58 playoff games, Crosby only has 9 more goals in 22 more playoff games (on a superior playoff team). So, yes Ovi is worth 10 million, and yes he has put the puck in the net when it counts. You’re just a hater, and if you’d approach the situation form a different perspective (not a biased one), you’d understand.

      • capsfan14 - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        Also, Ryan Suter, Shea Weber among others are being payed more than 10mil a season, and there are a lot of great underrated defensive defensmen out there. So yeah, millionares are out there getting payed to stop him.

      • joey4id - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        You’re not the sharpest knife in the draw. Go away!

    • capsfan14 - Feb 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      That’s right. Another one left speechless. Next time, actually watch a game and gather some basic hockey knowledge. Joey knows hockey, right? What a joke.

      • joey4id - Feb 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        Yo! Parasite! Read this not Ovi description;

        “The best captains possess some intangibles that can only be described as extraordinary. They have the ability to rise to the occasion. It’s in their blood. When the game is on the line, that’s when the captain plays bigger than anybody else. That’s when he earns his paycheck-in crunch time, in the clutch. He’s the guy with ice water in his veins, in overtime of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Need a big goal, a game winner? He’s your guy. If he can’t make and end-to-end rush capped off by the perfect toe-drag, top shelf, back handed wrister, then he’ll deflect it from the point with his teeth. That’s his role. He’s a two-way player that is not afraid to go into the corners or stand in front of the cage.”

        Source: “Wearing the “C” Leadership Secrets from Hockey’s Greatest Captains”, by Ross Bernstein

  5. bigtganks - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Irregardless, those Russian jerseys in the pic with the wings on the shoulders were pretty sweet. If I was Russian, I’d totally get one of those bad boys.

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 25, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Ovi, no need to apologize. On behalf of Canadian fans, we thought you did just fine. :-)

  7. hightopandrocket - Feb 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    Boohoo, get over yourself, nobody outside Russia should care.

  8. thesublimeylimey - Feb 26, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    To quote basketball, “It took all of us working as a team to lose this one”.

    Ovi was hardly stellar but you can’t blame him for the poor performance of the whole Russian team. They seemed to give up way too early, and I’m sure the open letter from the old Soviet team didn’t help them much either. The amount of pressure they were under must have felt fairly crushing.

    Anyway, it’s history now.

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