He didn’t find the scoresheet in Washington’s opener, but Alex Ovechkin will be on the right wing again when the Capitals host Winnipeg tonight at the Verizon Center.
Ovechkin’s move to the right from the left is part of new coach Adam Oates’ plan to make his captain less predictable.
“I think it balances his game out and gives him the opportunity to get more pucks on both sides of the ice,” Oates said Monday, per CSNWashington.com.
“I watched him in the past and I know his spot and I know where he loves [to shoot] and I’m not taking that away. We’re just trying to add and get him more touches.”
Ovechkin’s “spot” has been around the top of the left circle, often accessed by cutting in, left-to-right, at the blue line and trying to use the defenseman as a screen (video).
But eventually defensemen around the NHL caught on and the result was a lot of shots into a lot of shin-pads.
It’s not the first time a coach has tried to help the former 65-goal-scorer who hasn’t broken the 40-goal mark the past two seasons, but the move to the right side is arguably the most dramatic adjustment.
“It’s not going to click right away,” Ovechkin said, “but I think it’s getting closer and closer.”