Alex Ovechkin is still scoring lots of goals for the Washington Capitals. In fact, he’s scored seven times in his last six games.
Here’s the difference though: Of Ovechkin’s last seven goals, only one has been on the power play. Of the 13 goals he scored previously, seven were with the man advantage.
That’s no coincidence. It’s just Washington’s opponents doing their homework.
“You can see how tight they play against me on the power play,” Ovechkin said, per CSN Washington. “It’s good for different players on our team, good for [defensemen John Carlson and Mike Green] to shoot the puck. I’m going to be covered but someone else can score. When we’re 5-on-4 we have to score from the blue line. If they cover me they’re going to be open and they just have to score.”
Unfortunately for the Caps, “they” haven’t been scoring. In Washington’s last seven games, the power play is just 2-for-23.
So for now, expect teams to keep playing Ovechkin tight, which includes taking away his dangerous one-timer from the left side.
“We need everybody to score so they can’t take [Ovechkin] away,” said head coach Adam Oates. “When we do, it’ll open up more offense.”
Winless in their last three, the Caps host the Sens tonight and Montreal Friday.
PS — I don’t want to say I saw this coming a month ago, but…
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: