It has become plainly evident in this series that there are 39 mere mortals populating the active rosters for each game, all of them bound and limited by earthly principles. And then there is Alex Ovechkin.
Ovechkin may not skate as many minutes as he once did, and he may not always conform to the dreary style preferred by his coach, Dale Hunter. But Ovechkin is a sight to behold nonetheless, a spinning, churning wrecking ball. Why dump the puck when you can deke past two defensemen and fire on the fly? His shots come from nowhere, from nothing, or they are forged in a nanosecond, too quickly to turn aside.
Ovechkin was the big difference on Wednesday night, when the Rangers again came out flat for an even-numbered playoff game, losing 2-1, and failing for the fifth time in the postseason to gain a two-game lead. He scored early on a brilliant, off-balance shot, and we all know by now that the team that scores first in this series laughs last.