HARD HITS: Larry Brooks needs to retire


By Derek Felix

You would think after what 2018 Conn Smythe winner Alexander Ovechkin has been through that everyone who covers him would be happy. Many of the hockey media expressed their joy for the outstanding postseason the emotional three-time Hart winner had in finally leading the Capitals to its first Stanley Cup.

It was a long time coming. After all the postseason nightmares in the second round to the Penguins and Rangers, Ovechkin and a worthy group of teammates conquered their demons. The 32-year old Russian never played better hockey in his life. Despite all the Rocket Richards, and 607 goals, he truly was the passionate leader of the 2017-18 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.

Nobody is more deserving than the electrifying captain of the Caps. It wasn’t only the playoff-leading 15 goals and 12 assists totaling 27 points- ranking just behind this postseason’s leading scorer, linemate Evgeny Kuznetsov, who finished with 32 points (12-20-32). The most in one postseason since Pens’ superstar Evgeni Malkin produced 36 in 2009. It was the sacrifices a burning Great Eight made to lead his team by example. He was determined to do whatever it took to win this Spring. He was more committed defensively, racing back as he did to deny a Golden Knights breakaway chance. He dove to block shots when it was necessary as many Capitals did. As usual, there was the trademark Ovi human freight train hits throughout the run.

That’s why it’s absolutely ridiculous to see what the miserable Larry Brooks wrote in his column Slap Shots that appeared in the New York Post. So, if we’re to understand it, so because Ovechkin and the Capitals didn’t go through Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers, it doesn’t count. Or at least that’s what Brooks insinuates. It’s as if it’s not the same due to Ovechkin not having to beat Lundqvist. Correct me if I’m wrong here. How did the early match-ups go between the two? How did Lundqvist perform along with the Rangers this past season? They finished dead last in the division.

It’s time to put this nonsense to bed. I get that Brooks is a bitter pill. If I didn’t know any better, he could be related to Oscar The Grouch. At least that was Sesame Street fun. Sometimes, I get the distinct impression that Brooks thinks he invented hockey. Until he’s put out to pasture, he’ll continue to harp on the negatives, including playing the role of Scrooge when it comes to the amazing run the expansion Vegas Golden Knights had.

He can be a real curmudgeon. It’s not the Knights’ fault the NHL set up this new playoff format which by the way, the NHLPA signed off on. It must’ve been my imagination that the Golden Knights ran through the Winnipeg Jets in five games. Save us the excuses that they played Nashville the previous round. Vegas went six against the Sharks. They earned the right to play for Lord Stanley, and didn’t roll over in Game Five. They made the Caps earn it.

If you cannot see why the Vegas run was so great for the sport, please don’t cover hockey anymore. Turn in your media credentials and go back to the bar. It’s time for this undeserving fool to retire.

Brooks and that troll Brett Cyrgalis have made more enemies covering this sport than most. It makes me glad Dan Boyle stood up to them.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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6 Responses to HARD HITS: Larry Brooks needs to retire

  1. Stan Lapidus says:

    You hit the nail on the head. Brooks thinks he’s is the owner President, G M, and head coach of the Rangers. I doubt that he has any respect among the NHL family. Only problem with him is he will
    never retire and the Post thinks he great.
    Your article is well said. Thanks to you for writing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian says:

    I had the same reaction. Who wouldn’t? What a bitter and cynical piece from bitter and cynical Larry Brooks. Perseverance and the spirit to never give up in the face of all the past failures and heartbreak is the real story here Larry.

    The attempt (I repeat attempt) at diminishing the accomplishment of the Capitals with the line about the Caps not having to go through Lunquist is priceless and laughable. One can easily argue that Bobrovsky, Murray, Vasilevskiy, and Fleury were all better goaltenders this season (it’s 2018). The Capitals are Stanley Cup Champions and that can never be taken away from them, the city of Washington, and it fans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek Felix says:

      It doesn’t matter what happens in the regular season. Holtby coming in for Grubauer and doing what he did was great. He was a Vezina winner who lost his way. It was nice to see him regain his confidence. Good to see Montreal contributing to other teams’ success. Eller. Lol 😂

      Lundqvist had his chance. It’s over. I wish he would ask out.


  3. hasan4978 says:

    So I guess Larry just wants to ignore the fact the Caps have actually beaten Lundqvist in the playoffs a couple of times, albeit back in the Boudreau era. He’s filled the Neverson heel shoes quite nicely 😛

    I mean cripes the Penguins were basically one step removed from being the Yankees to the Capitals’ pre-2004 Red Sox. They were the ultimate historical nemesis. Once the Caps finally beat them they had the confidence to take the bull by the horns and go. They never even trailed in the final two games against Tampa with their backs to the wall there. I’m surprised Larry didn’t complain about Lars Eller’s fluke Game 3 goal against Columbus where the Caps’ playoff run nearly ended before it got started. Every champion needs breaks like that though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Derek Felix says:

      I never hate on teams who win. When Boston finally beat us, I told Brian we’ve won so many times. Let them have their fun. Of course, then the Red Saaaahhx won two more and their fans became obnoxious. So, yeah. Funny how that works. Brooks is just a old bitter pill now. He occasionally makes good points like making the superstars available to media on off days which I agree on. But come on. Come fuckin’ on. Lundqvist lost twice to Ovechkin. 3-2 overall. These Caps would probably beat our best team. They had it all. Top to bottom. I love that Ovi is having so much fun partying with teammates. He’s so much more fun than gee, aw shucks Crosby. Just different personalities. And some complain about that too. If we go through life complaining about everything, what’s the point? Nice photo with Nicole. Good to see. Manchester is a nice area.


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