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Ovechkin fails to deliver on guarantee

After failing to win Game 7 against the Rangers after he issued a guarantee, Alex Ovechkin was left with nothing to do but skate off the ice with his head down in disappointment.

After failing to win Game 7 against the Rangers after he issued a guarantee, Alex Ovechkin was left with nothing to do but skate off the ice with his head down in disappointment.

Alexander Ovechkin guaranteed a victory over the New York Rangers in Game 7 of their second round playoff series. The franchise’s all-time leader in points and goals was supposed to get the Capitals to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1998, the first time in his career. But the Rangers, from a city that knows a thing or two about guarantees, made him eat his words and the Capitals are left with nothing but disappointment, a wasted opportunity to dwell over all summer long.

Goalkeeper Braden Holtby was incredible this postseason and led the Capitals to a 3-1 series lead. But Ovechkin could not close out the deal. He could not lead his team to just one more win in three outings. The Rangers came back with two overtime victories and three-straight one-goal victories to move on.

Is it fair to blame Ovechkin for his team’s failed second round playoff series? Yes. Yes it is fair. It’s fair because he is the man for the Capitals. He has won three Hart Trophies and has earned every accolade any individual player could possibly earn. He is considered to be the best player in the league. Except he actually is not and his constant postseason failures are pretty indicative of that.

Ovechkin scored just eight goals in 14 postseason games this year. He scored the Capitals only goal in their 2-1 overtime loss in game seven, but took six shots in the game. He did not score in the previous four games, including two tough losses that kept the Rangers alive.

Quite simply, he was not doing what the best player in hockey should be doing to lead their team to success.

And this is not a case of a dominant player, a player on a 13-year, $124 million, not having enough help around him to win.

Nicklas Backstrom led the league in assists this year and ranked sixth in the league in points. Mike Green is one of the top defenseman in the league and John Carlson is a dangerous two-way player. Holtby has a spectacular season in goal and could be argued to be the best goalkeeper in the playoffs.

But the team just was not good enough to get the job done.

One night after LeBron James put the Cleveland Cavaliers on his back and carried them to a needed playoff victory, Ovechkin failed to deliver on his guarantee that he would do the same.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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