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THN.com Blog: Golden Ovie making a case for NHL's No. 1 star

Alex Ovechkin couldn't find the net Jan. 29 against Cristobal Huet and the Montreal Canadiens, but in the rematch two nights later he had five points.. (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Alex Ovechkin couldn't find the net Jan. 29 against Cristobal Huet and the Montreal Canadiens, but in the rematch two nights later he had five points.. (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

With a THN magazine cover story on Alex Ovechkin just around the corner, I don’t want to say a whole lot about the Capitals superstar’s astounding offensive output of late.

However, I can say this: when you think of the handful of jaw-dropping, legend-making events that have taken place in the NHL since the lockout ended, Washington’s franchise player was the catalyst behind two (his falling-down, spinning-around goal against Phoenix, and his four-goal, broken nose showing against Montreal last week).

Ovechkin is not only completely justifying my vote for him as the league’s rookie-of-the-year in 2006 – he’s also making a very strong argument to be pushed ahead of Sidney Crosby as the game’s marquee superstar.

• The same THN issue that will focus on Ovechkin will also have an opinion piece by yours truly on the staggering amount of feedback I received over the weekend regarding my Screen Shots column on Guy Lafleur.

You’ll have to pick up the issue to see a selection of the white-hot, often-furious responses that were sent my way. That said, I’ve never received more emails on any single column than I did on this one.

The reason for that might be because Lafleur’s current predicament involves a number of hot-button issues (i.e. sex, drugs, violence, and sports), but I also believe it’s because the legendary Montreal Canadien is far more beloved than many media types suspect.

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And, given that I received emails defending Lafleur from B.C. to Newfoundland, that affection isn’t coming just from inside the borders of Quebec, either.

• Like a lot of people, I thought the Super Bowl game Sunday night was fantastic. And one of the biggest reasons for the evening’s high drama was the record setting three lead changes in the final quarter.

As THN Senior Writer Ken Campbell noted earlier this season, lead changes in the NHL are, relatively speaking, far too rare for the league’s own good.

Just another reason hockey fans should be cheering on NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly in his attempts to mitigate as much as possible against the pervasive influence of defense-minded NHL coaches.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays and Fridays, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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