Milbury on Ovechkin – A Dog Eat Dog Criticism

It’s been a while since I’ve written about DC sports here, particularly the Redskins or Caps (my two main teams I follow).  I’m not superstitious about sports and understand that anything I write here is going to have no effect on the team, but if I did write about the Redskins during that 7 game winning streak they would have lost.  And the Caps, well…there really hasn’t been anything worthwhile to write about them this season until this past week.  Whether it was Brouwer unleashing on Semin, or GMGM inexplicably giving Erskine a 33% raise, and now Mike Milbury ranting against Alex Ovechkin.  I guess we know hockey is back when that happens.  I admit I haven’t seen his rant last evening on NBC Sports telecast of the Flyers whitewashing of the Caps and don’t plan on watching it either.  It has become tiresome and all too predictable.  When you heard the Caps game was on NBC and Mike Milbury was doing the intermission was there any doubt in your mind where it was going to end up?  He is hockey’s equivalent of Skip Bayless, essentially a worthless opinion that he knows will get him attention. 

Ovie has received, deservedly, criticism for his play over the last couple of seasons.  But I think context has to be put into the conversation regarding the criticism he receives from Mad Mike.  I think Brian McNally of the Washington Examiner did an excellent job taking Milbury to task for some of his comments and criticisms from last night in his Five Observations piece.  In any event, the first salvo by Milbury was unleashed Sunday April 13, 2008 during the Caps – Flyers playoffs series when Milbury called Alex Ovechkin a dog.  Milbury stated “If it looks like a dog, barks like a dog, it is a dog”.  Mind you, this was the season where Ovechkin scored 65 goals and 112 points and during the playoffs he scored 4 goals and 5 assists in 7 games.  I won’t recount every time he has taken aim at Ovie, but it puts Milbury’s comments in context.  Whether his opinion of Ovechkin is sincere, or it is just for show it has become tiresome and provides no valuable insight.  When you know the opinion before it is stated and there has been no change in that opinion over 5 years what is its value in repeating it?  It surely doesn’t bring anything to the table except more spotlight on the speaker.  Reaching into my memory banks, it makes me think of a comment I once heard about debating, I wish I could remember who said it .  In essence, the point made was that anyone who exits a debate or conversation with the same exact opinion on a topic as when they entered it has not truly been intellectually honest or open.  They are more interested in hearing their own thoughts  being espoused than actually engaging in a discussion.   Sounds like Milbury to me…for 5 straight years, but then maybe it was my mistake to think Milbury was interested in or capable of such things when it comes to his TV persona.

On the flip side, Milbury’s history as general manager of the Islanders shows that he himself is a dog.  I mean he traded Roberto Luongo in order to draft Rick DiPietro, whom he drafted ahead of Dany Heatley and Marian Gaborik.  And he traded the pick that resulted in Jason Spezza to the Senators for Alexei Yashin.  Those are amongst a gaggle of other baffling moves he made as Islanders GM, not all of which can be blamed on the ownership.  So, I guess he can always fall back on the argument that it takes a dog to know a dog.

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