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