Down the stretch, with a team far from contention and a volatile off season to come (or at least Larry Brooks is trying to create the premise of one), I'm not surprised that it becomes tougher and tougher to write stories of relevance. Heck, I've been all but lost at times, trying to come up with stories regarding the Bolts.
But I'm a blogger and there's only so much access to be had from where I am sitting... there are, of course, loads of questions about the team that the fans across the globe have, and a limited number of answers. Loads of observations but limited commentary. We here at Raw Charge are not covering the team in person, nor do we have access to the front office as other established journalists do.
Which brings me back to last Thursday night's non-event with Alexander Ovechkin. I already have said my piece as has Cassie, and we're done with it. It happened, it's over, and it wasn't a big deal to begin with. Now back to the Bolts, right?
So why have so many online stories from local media online focused squarely on the Ovechkin story over the last week (here, here, here, here, here, here , and likely more before the puck drops tonight at the Verizon Center)?
I realize there is a fear of losing access if you point out the obvious with the very club you are covering, like the Lightning's inability to amass more than a handful of shots a game (double-digit shots on goal is not something that is supposed to be a rarity). There may be some animosity we aren't seeing in the Lightning locker room regarding Ovi's antics... But really, isn't there something better to write about? Or someone/something more ghastly to vilify than Alex?
Of course, the most cynical reason one can propose these stories are dominating the online media is because of advertising: everyone and their uncle in the hockey world had been eating up this story for a time and had some type of interest in it or opinion on it. Which means web traffic, which means happy advertisers getting their ad exposure.
And means irrelevance for Lightning fans looking for Lightning coverage from the most prominent media sources locally.
It may have happened in Tampa, but there are stories still to be told about the local team. There are still perspectives and opinions and facts that could be revealed and shared. Dipping once more into the Ovechkin well is simply phoning it in from a journalism perspective.