Russian Machine Has Chernobyl-Like Meltdown

A long time ago, before last night’s embarrassing loss to the Canadian Olympic Team and before last year’s crushing Game 7 loss to the Penguins, Alex Ovechkin was a happy, carefree individual who craved attention. He’d practically do any interview asked of him and was always happy to promote himself and the Capitals to no end. It’s safe to say that Ovechkin’s expressive play over the years has even captured the hearts of a once moribund sports town and turned Washington DC into a genuine Hockeytown.

But with peaks must come valleys. And the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was a deep chasm of awful for the Russian Machine – minus one legendary moment. What did Vancouver do though? It illustrated what can happen to a 24 year old when he carries a burden too heavy for even his broad shoulders to hold.

Russian Machine only does interviews in English with Sochi Jacket on!

Russian Machine only does interviews in English with Sochi Jacket and Hat on!

It has been no secret that a Gold Medal could indeed mean more to Ovechkin than a Stanley Cup. To him, it would bring honor not only to his country, but to his family that he so deeply loves. For the fiercely competitive Ovechkin, it would simply be symbolism that he’s good enough. That he’s as big of a champion as his mother, who was a two time Olympic Champion in Basketball herself.

Combine these internal pressures with a giant letdown against Team Canada, a lack of privacy that comes with being a huge celebrity, and a media horde consisting of reporters where 75% of them don’t speak your native tongue (who ask the same questions 55 different ways), sometimes frustration overflows. Really, what do we gain from terrible interviews such as this one?

My point being that while I’m disappointed by the fact that Ovechkin pulled a Randy Johnson with a cameraman and had numerous other run-ins with reporters, I’m more disappointed by the fact that he missed a golden opportunity to connect with even more fans across the globe during his time at the Olympics. But, we all must realize that Ovi’s human. And even great ones are involved with epic failure now and again.

So just know, we here at RMNB know that this was a valley. The fun-loving, toothless-smiling Ovechkin shall return. And in June we shall be writing a different story about victories and scratchy beards. So let’s give the man a break and breath for a minute. What stupid things did you do at 24? I’m sure worse than a palm to a video camera.

  • poor guy. you can just see it in his face he’s massively disappointed in himself.

  • Kimmy

    I feel so bad for Ovi. The poor guy can’t even take a walk with his brother and best friend without being harassed by the media. Anyone who knows Ovi or has even remotely followed his career should know how important the Olympics are to him and his family and thus, how disappointing this loss was to him. I hope he can find some quiet time to relax over the next few days. I’m sure we’ll see a much happier Ovi back at practice with the Caps on Sunday – on an even more determined quest for the Stanley Cup.

    Don’t worry Ovi….Your friends and true fans still love you and we will be right here on the blue line to support you no matter what!

  • Tim

    We all understand. . .in some sense we are with them as they go through this (as the fans). Give him the few days between the loss, and Wednesday in Buffalo, and Ovie, Semin and all the guys should and hopefully will be back to the winning ways. Then he will be happy. . .time to focus on a Stanley Cup!

  • mcognac

    It’s like pouring a gallon of water into a shot glass, one can take so much before they lose it!

    Imagine having the worst day ever at work, imagine having a camera shoved in your face and being asked how your day was just as you are getting ready to get into your car? Yeah……

    24 is YOUNG!!!!! Too much is expected of Ovie, everyone wants a piece of him. I understand when you are someone like him, you expect to lose some privacy, but the press/fans/paps do not know their boundries (most of them at least). Ovie is human, he fells like he failed at something that he wanted so bad. He needs to be left alone.

    That being said, thanks for writing this, very well put 🙂

  • Mary K.

    I agree with all the previous comments…. and I don’t think what he did was *that* bad. Certainly he could have gone a lot more ballistic. I hope he gets the privacy and respect he needs.

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  • Man, got to say that i looked at a couple of great matches the past week. Although i have to say that it is not said the guys with the leaf shall win with ease from the US. Again Canada won with some luck today from Slovakia. The US will win sunday with 5-2! Just a word: Yo Crosby! Put a smile at your face you overprised player!

  • Peter

    You heard it here first, folks. 5-2 USA. Thanks, @Courtney.

  • staxx

    What was that Courtney??????? i guess Crosby showed you…. Russia and Ovie never stood a chance. Canada played only one team in order to win or lose the Gold medal this olympics. It played itself…. Lucky for the US, Canada played poorly enough to make it a close game. If they played Sunday like they did against Russia, it would of been a blow out. Great to see the U.S. getting stronger though, many more games to come, we’ll see what happens in Sochi.

  • Brent

    Whatever Staxx. And if the US played against Canada like it did against Finland, then it would have been a blowout the other way. The only thing that shocked me yesterday was that Babcock chose to play prevent-defense with a one-goal lead for almost the whole third period. I’ve never seen anything like it. He was keeping 5 guys in the neutral and defensive zones instead of forechecking. As for Ovi, he had the misfortune of playing for a Russian team whose collective ego overmatched their talent. I blame leadership for that. Ego dictated playing all those KHL stiffs instead of going with more Russian NHLers. At the end of the day, it was a team of 5 or 6 stars and 12 guys who wouldn’t have made either the US or Canda rosters.

  • Peter

    @staxx, if you’re going to come at us with over-the-top rhetoric like that, please have the courtesy of finishing it with a “suck it” or a “your mom.” Thanks.