With seven goals in 15 games, Alex Ovechkin is on pace to surpass the 32 goals he scored last season. But only barely. At his current rate, he’ll get 38.
In 2007-08, he had 65.
Given the above, CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley wonders if Ovechkin needs to reinvent himself as a player.
“Opposing defensemen and forwards are taking away his shooting lanes, getting their sticks and shin pads on many of Ovechkin’s attempts at the net,” writes Gormley.
It’s hardly breaking news the NHL has a book on Ovechkin; however, it remains to be seen if he can counter the adjustments Washington’s opponents have made to slow him down. I wouldn’t use the word “reinvent” — more like evolve.
The truly great athletes never stop taking their games to the next level. Case in point, Michael Jordan was almost 30 before he became a threat from 3-point range.
“It wasn’t a planned thing, it just happened,” Jordan told the New York Times in 1990. “It makes guys have to play me farther from the basket. If they get up on me, I can go around them. If they don’t, I can take the shot. It opens up our offense and gives the other team something else to worry about.”
They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.
The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.
In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.
The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.
Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.
The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.
It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.
Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.
Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.
“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”
Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: