Go ahead and add “proper positioning in the neutral zone” to the pile of things the Capitals are working on with Alex Ovechkin.
Per the Washington Times, it seems Ovechkin is growing frustrated with the lack of pucks that are finding their way to his stick as he flies down the ice on the attack.
But is that his teammates’ fault? Or, is it his?
“If I don’t have the puck coming out of my zone it’s hard to give it to him,” said center Mike Ribeiro said. “If it’s chipped a lot of times he has to be the guy to chase that puck. Obviously when I have the puck in neutral zone, I try to find him, but last game I think a lot of our game was chip it out of our zone and trying to get some races there and he needs to get used to that. That’s the name of the game now is to chip the puck and chase it. … That’s something he has to adjust to.”
Head coach Adam Oates echoed Ribeiro’s take, saying that Ovechkin can get the puck more with speed “by being in better position.”
Ovechkin had four shots, but no goals, in Saturday’s 3-0 win in Winnipeg. The Caps’ captain hasn’t scored in his last three games after notching a hat trick Feb. 23 against the Devils.
Washington hosts Boston Tuesday.
Related: Milbury rips Ovechkin
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.