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
Devan Dubnyk already showed signs of having a hot start to 2016-17, but Thursday made that point abundantly clear.
For the second straight game, Dubnyk generated a shutout, with the Minnesota Wild beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-0 in this instance.
It’s not as if Dubnyk is just leisurely turning aside the occasional chance, either; he made 38 saves to blank Buffalo and needed to stop 65 shots on goal considering the 27 he turned aside in a 5-0 win vs. Boston.
Ryan Suter said that Dubnyk bailed his teammates out during the second period, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo reports.
He’s now allowed just 10 goals in six games so far in 2016-17, with Taylor Hall‘s overtime-winner being the last shot to beat him. That came on Sunday:
More often than not, Dubnyk’s been making those saves so far in this young season.
There are plenty of differences between Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, including obvious things like one being from Russia and the other from Finland.
Still, there are moments when Laine inspires comparisons to his idol, even this early in his rookie season.
Thursday presented one of those moments. It wasn’t just that Laine fired a 3-0 goal home for the Winnipeg Jets against the Dallas Stars with such moxie; it was also that he showed some swagger with a celebration afterward.
This GIF captures the moment brilliantly, while you can also watch the goal in video form.
Sure, there will be some grumbles from the “act like you’ve been here before” crowd, but this is brilliant stuff for the rest of us.
Early this season, Dmitry Orlov delighted onlookers and angered Matt Duchene with a mind-blowing, throwback hip check. People really seemed to enjoy it.
While you’d struggle to top that hit, Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier must have sensed the void in checks that almost seem to flip opponents, doing so against Anthony Duclair during Thursday’s contest.
Rate this as you will:
Want another look at the Orlov one for comparison’s sake or to chuckle in disbelief? Why not:
As much as this Tampa Bay Lightning – Montreal Canadiens means right now, losing Nikita Kucherov would hang a dark cloud over any result for the Bolts.
There hasn’t been an update yet regarding whether Kucherov is actually injured – or if this is a minor vs. significant issue – but there are concerns after he fell into the boards during tonight’s game.
You can see the fall in video form above the headline and also in this GIF from Stephanie Hail: