Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is on fire right now, but he’s not just getting bounces. The Russian winger’s looking like the Ovechkin of “old,” firing a dizzying amount of pucks at opposing nets.
He scored his 10th goal in 10 games to give Washington an early 1-0 lead against the Edmonton Oilers Thursday:
Such a run makes TSN’s Bob McKenzie wonder if Ovechkin, 28, can score 70 goals this season (and similar thoughts about Sidney Crosby reaching 150+ points). Ovi has 32 goals in his last 31 regular season games, assuming he doesn’t get any more on Thursday.
Again, it’s not just like everything is going in for Ovechkin. He has an absurd 61 shots on goal in nine games and already has five tonight, so he’ll average at least 6.6 shots per contest once tonight’s game is over. The 14.8 shooting percentage he carried into Thursday is only slightly better than his career average of 12.2.
Does that mean we can expect 70 in 82 or 82 in 82? Probably not, but with a 65-goal season on his resume (2007-08), it’s not as crazy as it sounds.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.