John Steigerwald—he of the "Bryan Stow deserved to get beaten into a coma" column—is at it again. This time the Washington (Pa.) Observer-Reporter observer/reporter sets his poorly-focused sights on Alexander Ovechkin. Since his numbers have taken a dip, and also a steroid doctor who Ovechkin has never been associated with was arrested more than two years ago, Ovechkin is clearly on steroids. Ipso facto. Take it away, John Steigerwald, you magnificent dumbass:
There are whispers and maybe even some out-loud conversations around the hockey world about Ovechkin's problem being a lack of artificial help.
In other words, performance-enhancing drugs.
The guy was superhuman when he first came into the league. He had the hardest shot anybody had seen in years. Goalies around the league talked about how it was different from everybody else's shot.
He's taking about half as many shots as he used to.
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.
Add to that the fact a Washington D.C. chiropractor was investigated after he bragged about supplying steroids to members of the Capitals and Washington Nationals.
After all the tearful, indignant denials by athletes who were later found to be juicers, 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.
Not guilty in a court of law, just in my mind. Sorry.
No, we're sorry, sorry that John Steigerwald's mother mainlined thalidomide.
Steigerwald doesn't mention this magical doctor who's supposedly been supplying Ovechkin with steroids, but it's easy enough to figure out that he means Dr. Anthony Galea, who's been linked to Alex Rodriguez, Santana Moss and Tiger Woods among others. Not among those others: Alex Ovechkin. There's never been a single bit of speculation, not even HFBoards bullshit, linking Ovechkin to Galea. They've never been mentioned in the same sentence until now. So unless John Steigerwald has access to some juicy scoop—and he doesn't because he's a dumbass columnist in Washington, Pa.—he's just outright making stuff up. Luckily for his libel defense, he's probably just stupid as opposed to malicious.
If you want a fact-based rebuttal that posits actual reasons for Ovechkin's slump, and points out that his numbers didn't actually decline during and after the Olympics, Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy's got you covered. Lambert also notes that John, a Penguins homer (see above screengrab from an ad from his old TV days), is brother to Paul Steigerwald, a horrible homer broadcaster for the Penguins on Root Sports Pittsburgh. Paul famously joked about Hobey Baker's plane crash, while John merely says Bryan Stow shouldn't have worn his Giants jersey and Michael Vick should blow his knee out. So in the grand scheme, there are worse things than a poorly researched and poorly written column that no one will ever read except to make fun of it.
Ovechkin's decline because of PEDs? [Observer-Reporter]