Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin isn’t exactly used to getting nearly two weeks off in January. That’s what happened when a three-game suspension and a vetoed All-Star appearance combined for 12 days off aside from practices, though.
To little surprise, Ovechkin told CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley that he misses hockey; head coach Dale Hunter went as far as to say that he’s “dying to get back.”
Considering Ovechkin’s relative struggles this season, it really might be a blessing in disguise. The 82-game season must be a serious grind – and it’s not as if Ovechkin had many full off-seasons with playoff runs and summer tournaments cutting his breaks down to small installments.
Sure, he’s only 26 years old, but getting that break – plus experiencing the discomfort of watching his team from the sidelines – might just give Ovechkin the boost to play closer to the levels that put him among the NHL’s true elites before slumping a bit starting last season.
Just don’t expect Ovechkin to stop throwing his body around when he gets back.