Aside from the oddness of wearing No. 32, Alex Ovechkin is displaying glimpses of the blistering sniper from his 50+ goal seasons.
Firing 11 shots on goal in his duel with Ilya Kovalchuk was the first good sign.
While he didn’t carve his way through defensemen like he did during his most famous tallies, this slam-dunk slapper also conjures the good old days of Ovechkin lighting up scoreboards:
He’s not leaving the rest of the KHL in the dust with three goals (that power-play bit included) and five assists in seven games, but there are traces of the infectiously joyous Ovi before things got a little moodier in Washington.
Ovechkin’s KHL numbers could start piling up if his shooting percentage climbs. He’s already registered 41 shots on goal in those seven contests, showing the trigger-happy tendencies that made him so dangerous in his best stretches.
Since putting up an astonishing 528 shots on goal in 2008-09, he’s been more gun-shy in each season, dipping to a career-low 303 last season.
That’s still a ton of attempts for a normal player, but Ovechkin’s aim isn’t to be normal.
Perhaps a palate cleanser overseas might just change his trajectory, then. (If he comes back to the NHL, of course.)