If you’re Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, you have many choices to make in life.
Which insanely expensive car to drive to the rink?
Which teammate to jump into after a goal?
Which nightclub to close in early May?
Now, it seems that Ovi has another decision to make, one we though was no longer an issue: which stick to use?
Before this season, Ovechkin announced he was moving away from his partnership with CCM to join Team Bauer. Ovechkin’s gloves, pants, helmet, skates and sticks are now all supplied by Bauer, as is presumably anything hidden under his uniform (although his old JOFA elbow pads are a mainstay… hockey players love old JOFA). During his time with CCM, Ovechkin was known to be finicky with his sticks, stepping out on his twigs to try Bauer, Warrior and Easton models when his CCMs were snapping like toothpicks weren’t to his liking. With Bauer, we thought we’d finally see Ovi settle down into a life of stick monogamy.
Nope. Ovechkin is still a commitment-a-phobe. This time, he’s dating sisters! At the same time!
For the first 8 games of the season, Ovechkin has flip-flopped, sometimes within games, between two models of Bauer composite sticks: the Vapor APX model stick and its peer, the Supreme TotalONE. They’re both high-end twigs, fetching $250+ at hockey equipment stores (for those of us without a Brock) with each featuring slightly differing technological features.
Is there meaning behind Ovechkin’s stick swapping? It could have to do with wanting a certain type of stick for certain games, or for certain situations (PP, last minutes of a game). Maybe he’s just getting used to the flex and feel of both so he can choose which one to go into war with when it counts.
Or perhaps this stick polygamy is a sign of something more sinister. Perhaps, like Mike Green with the blue Easton Stealth sticks of his 31 goal season, Ovi is trying to find some magic in his tools. With his goal scoring numbers down last season, and with this season starting out a bit on the average side, Ovechkin might be getting frustrated with his lamp-lighting performance and is starting to take his frustrations on things he has control of. Like his sticks.
Hopefully we'll soon see Ovi pick a stick and run with it. It’ll mean his confidence is back and that he could score a goal with anything.
Even a wooden stick.