Monday, December 5, 2011

Was Alex Ovechkin on Steroids?

Like most Monday's at work I start my day reading hockey blogs and drinking lots of Pepsi (I'm just not a coffee guy). Today there was a post by the loveable Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy squashing an Alex Ovechkin steroid accusation. A columnist named John Steigerwald, who writes for the Observer-Reporter thinks the main reason for Ovechkins lack of goal scoring is because of lack of PEDs.

Lambert made sure to note that John Steigerwald is the brother of Penguins broadcaster Paul Steigerwald, and is also a Penguins fan himself. So many people can look at this as a Crosby fan bashing Ovechkin as Steigerwald has some pretty wild ideas of why Ovechkin would be guilty of taking them.

Here are some of quick hits from Steigerwald's post and our thoughts on them:
  • "He managed one shot on goal against the Penguins Thursday night. What's wrong with this guy?" - Only 1 shot?!?! He must be off steroids now! If we're measuring shots on goal as proof of PEDs than Dustin Byfuglien must be taking cocktails of them because he had 12 shots last week in a game against the Senators.
  • "There are whispers and maybe even some out-loud conversations around the hockey world about Ovechkin's problem being a lack of artificial help." - What you hear in your head is not the hockey world talking. 
  • "Is any of this proof that Ovechkin's performance was enhanced before, and now it's not? No. But, you combine it with the fact that his doctor was charged with bringing PEDs over the border from Canada, and it gives you the right to be suspicious." - As Lambert says in his article, there is no evidence or connection of Ovechkin to this doctor that was charged. Looks like Steigerwald is a regular on HFBoards.
  • "I've taken the position that if you're performing at a near super-human level and your doctor is arrested for selling steroids, you are guilty until proven innocent." - So although Ovechkin has passed every drug test, he's still guilty?
  • "Former Penguins enforcer Georges Laraque wrote in his autobiography that steroid use was common in the NHL. He said one good indicator was a guy whose performance dropped off after the Winter Olympics. Laraque says the Olympics testing procedure is much tougher than the NHL's, and players picked for the Olympics have to quit the PEDs." - Laraque played for the Canadiens that season, how would he know if Ovechkin was doing anything? It seems like Steigerwald's thinking here was: Laraque played for the Pens once > GO PENS > Crosby is better than Ovechkin > Ovechkin must be using PEDs. 
I am not sure if this is internet sweeps week or something, but you can't just go out and accuse someone of taking roids without any real proof. It's embarrassing and slanderous.

As a Canadian kid growing up in the 80's and 90's I thought every great Russian athlete was on steroids thanks to Rocky IV. I am sure Steigerwald dreams of Crosby working out the old school way of running up mountains and drinking raw eggs while Ovechkin works out in some lab in front of scientists getting injected by needles.

But as an adult now, I know that Ovechkin has been getting tested for years and nothing has come up. So how can I accuse him of steroids? I am wise enough to look at the stats and understand that if you are shooting substantially less and getting less time on the powerplay, that you will probably score less goals. That's common sense isn’t it? It's not that hard to imagine that NHL players and coaches are finding a way to box Ovechkin out of the good scoring areas and that Ovechkin needs to find a way to change his game up. Ovechkin doesn't need any juice to score goals.

My grandfather always had some great advice for us growing up playing hockey: SHOOT PUCK. Ovechkin just needs to Shoot Puck, and the goals will come, but surely when those goals do come, so will Steigerwald's PED accusations.


  1. I forgot how awesome that training montage was

  2. You grew up in the 80s and 90....wooooo,old timer.I can't relate. I'm a summer of 42 guy.

  3. I am going to go against the grain here and say I do think Ovechkin has had some help. Might not be straight up Steroids. But I think he might have used something early in his career and for some reason has stopped taking it. I am a Caps fan and watch a lot of their games. And he is a totally different players now.

  4. You can't just say someone took steroids without any proof

  5. That piece of shit commentator in Pittsburgh is the most biased man in all of hockey. Ever watch a Penguins game with him calling it? It's pathetic. No matter what, the Penguins are ALWAYS right, it doesn't matter if Matt Cooke blatantly ends someones career... somehow its the victims fault. His credibility means nothing in the hockey world, mainly because he doesn't have any.

  6. Did you hear the Ryan Lambert interview with him? The guy is a moron.

    Sidney Crosby is a Vampire

  7. I have always wondered if OV was on roids. But until there is proof of that you can't really go around saying he did take them.

    Love the Rocky vid:)

  8. I could see it

    have you ever seen an ostensibly great player fall off so dramatically at what should be his career peak? No injuries or substance abuse issues; I think he's off the sauce

  9. I remember thinking he was on Roids when he was scoring tons of goals and nobody could even hit him.
    But he still hasnt tested positive. So hard to say he did.

  10. most elite athletes were on PEDs in the former soviet union and it remains commonplace and pervasive in russia today (particularly amongst hockey players). It is fascinating how ovechkin, who was so explosive in his early 20s and who should now be entering his physical peak at 26, is less physically dominant today than he was 3 years' ago; he is a step slower and cannot impose himself upon other players as he once could. Since he does not have a history of injuries, I wonder what has happened? Actually, I can surmise what has happened, but its politically incorrect to state the obvious.

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