Super Sunday's good (Ovie), bad (unis) and ugly

February, 2, 2009

As you know, the NHL doesn't go away on Super Bowl Sunday. They do, however, play a bit of an abbreviated schedule. There were just three games and they all took place in the afternoon. In case you were up to your elbows in guacamole dip, chicken wings and beer, I have three observations for you.

• Alex Ovechkin continues to be utterly ridiculous. In the Caps' 7-4 win over the visiting Senators, A.O. netted a hat trick, pushing his league-leading goals total to 37. It completed a five-goal weekend for Ovechkin, who scored a pair of goals in a 4-2 victory over the Red Wings on Saturday afternoon in D.C. Not a bad two days work for a guy who told the attending media on Sunday he doesn't enjoy early afternoon games. "The Great 8" now has 199 career goals. He'll be shooting for No. 200 when the Caps travel to face the Devils on Tuesday night.

• I beg the Montreal Canadiens to never (ever!) wear those silly red-white-and-blue striped throwback uniforms they wore against the Bruins at the Bell Centre. I know it's part of their centennial season celebration and I know those hideous sweaters were worn as regular uniforms during the 1912-13 season. Still, there's a reason why they've been on the shelf for nearly 100 years! They were absolutely brutal. The pajama look didn't help the Habs, who dropped a 3-1 decision to the Bruins.

• Speaking of the B's, they just keep rolling. The Super Bowl Sunday win over the Canadiens extended their Eastern Conference lead to 12 points over the Caps (with both teams playing the same number of games). The Bruins also lead the NHL with 80 points. They're three points better than the Sharks, who have played three fewer games. As an early reminder, the B's host the Sharks (and their old pal Joe Thornton) on Feb. 10.

And one more thing ...
If the league doesn't drop a 10-game suspension on Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier for his hit on Habs D-man Josh Gorges, it should stop issuing supplementary discipline. Gauthier is a repeat offender who left his feet to deliver an elbow to the head of Gorges. Step up, guys, this one is a gimme.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.




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