Obviously, if THN would make a top 10 list of hockey players in the World, on this planet or in visible Universe, Alex Ovechkin would be the number One too. :-)
John Grigg, The Hockey News, 2009-04-01:
We’ve done the Czechs, the Swedes and the Finns, in our on-going analysis of the NHL’s best European players. This week we turn to Russia.
No European nation has produced more top-flight NHLers over the years than Russia and the former USSR. And no European nation has more top-flight NHLers right now than Russia, even though only 32 have spent time in the league this season. And it’s fair to say Russians are currently the most exciting players in the NHL.
So without further ado, we give you THN.com’s Top 10 NHL Russians, right now.
1. Alex Ovechkin, Left Winger, Washington
Ovechkin has topped a couple of our lists this season – including Dynamic Duos with No. 6 on this list and Stars Who Hit – so we considered dropping him here just to stir things up a bit. But this guy is the best player in the world right now and suggesting otherwise just to elicit responses would be foolhardy. Offensively, AO leads the Rocket Richard Trophy-race by 11 goals, is second in power play markers with 18, tied for first in game winners with 10 and his 482 shots on goal are 131 more than the league’s next most prolific shooter. As for the intangibles, Ovechkin leads all forwards in average ice time at 22:59 per game, is eighth in the NHL with 233 hits, is the most exciting and exuberant player on the planet and has almost single-handedly taken the Capitals from also-rans to the darlings of the Washington sports scene.
2. Pavel Datsyuk, Center, Detroit
3. Evgeni Malkin, Center, Pittsburgh
4. Evgeni Nabokov, Goaltender, San Jose
5. Andrei Markov, Defenseman, Montreal
6. Alexander Semin, Left Winger, Washington
7. Ilya Kovalchuk, Left Winger, Atlanta
8. Sergei Gonchar, Defenseman, Pittsburgh
9. Nikolai Khabibulin, Goaltender, Chicago
10. Slava Kozlov, Left Winger, Atlanta
John Grigg, THN, 2008-11-19, Top 10: Hockey's top duos:
1. Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin
• Easily the duo I want to see play the most are the two Alexes. In my opinion, Ovechkin is the best forward in the league; he scores, hits, always plays hard and his joy for playing is infectious. Semin is right at the top of the list when it comes to skill level in the NHL and just might be the heir to Joe Sakic when it comes to best wrist shots in the league. Together they’re dominating the league like no other duo this season, both averaging better than a point per game – despite Ovie’s slow start – and better than a plus-1 rating per game – an even better barometer of how dominating they’ve been thus far.
2. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin
3. Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa
4. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane
5. Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry
6. Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer
7. Henrik and Daniel Sedin
8. Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis
9. Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen
10. Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley
John Grigg, THN, 2009-01-14, Top 10: Stars who hit
1. Alex Ovechkin, Left Wing, Washington
When you’re the best player in the world and sit sixth in bodychecks delivered with 139, you’re going to top any list of this kind. The reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy-winner is working on another hardware-gathering season and bringing smiles to the faces of fans around the league.
2. Zdeno Chara, Defense, Boston
3. Ryan Getzlaf, Center, Anaheim
4. Mike Richards, Center, Philadelphia
5. Shea Weber, Defense, Nashville
6. Mike Komisarek, Defense, Montreal
7. Shane Doan, Left Wing, Phoenix
8. Milan Lucic, Left Wing, Boston
9. Marc Staal, Defense, NY Rangers
10. Dustin Brown, Right Wing, Los Angeles
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