- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
HARRIS: Will Alex Ovechkin sulk or soar after Olympic failure?
Question of the Day
But this was his only shot at an Olympics in Russia. He wasn’t the captain of his team but he was its face. He went to great lengths to be part of the pre-Games torch relay just as the Caps were beginning preseason. Before the NHL went all-in with these Games, Ovechkin made it clear he’d be going anyway.
The Games in his beloved Russia? No way he was missing that.
Is Ovechkin drained? How quickly will the endless questions — and they will continue to come fast and furious — wear on him?
Does he sulk and disappear? Or does he use this disappointment as some sort of fuel and go on another of his 15-goals-in-10-games kind of runs? The fear, frankly, is that the hangover will last longer than anyone including Ovi would like.
Let’s say he does go on a goals barrage and carry the Caps into the playoffs. Maybe they win a couple of series. Maybe he wins his fourth MVP.
He still won’t have an Olympic medal. He’ll still have the memory of the sorrow in Sochi.
His mental toughness will be tested like never before. His teammates will do whatever they can to help him get past the disappointment. For all the Caps’ flaws, bad character isn’t on the list. They’ll remind Ovi how important he is to their chances, how much they need him.
The burden, though, is all on Ovi. Only he can chase these demons from his head. Only he can get his mind right and get ready to be a force for the Capitals again.
The Olympic hockey tournament rolls on, with a pair of what should be terrific semifinals on Friday. Finland plays Sweden in what should be a goalie showcase: Tuukka Rask against Henrik Lundqvist. That’s as good as it gets. Team USA plays Canada in a rematch of the 2010 gold medal game won by Canada on Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal.
Winners play Sunday for the gold. Losers play Saturday for the bronze.
Hopefully for Caps fans, the Ovechkin part doesn’t apply to the rest of this season. We’ll know soon enough.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Washington Times sports editor Mike Harris has more than 30 years experience in the business as a reporter, columnist and manager. He’s covered a wide variety of events including two Olympics, horse racing, auto racing, professional and college sports. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the section on Twitter @WashTimesSports.
- HARRIS: Break but don't bend? Bryce Harper quandary rears its head again for Nats
- HARRIS: Offseason nothing to look forward to for Caps or Wizards
- HARRIS: D.C. not yet spellbound by Wizards, but they're no illusion
- HARRIS: Echoes of 1978 NBA champs in these Wizards
- HARRIS: Wizards have moved to head of D.C.'s class
Latest Blog Entries
- Gio Gonzalez living a dream by throwing bullpen sessions to ex-Yankee Jorge Posada
- Meet Connor Carrick, the youngster who played his way onto the Caps' final roster
- Go Aggies: Nationals notes and lineups for Sept. 14
- RG3: There is no conflict with Redskins coach Mike Shanahan
- Sunday Nats-Dodgers lineups and some thoughts from reliever Craig Stammen
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Sarah Palin's online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
- Colorado poll shows women tuning out Democrats' 'war on women' strategy
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world