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Alex Ovechkin gets cortisone shot – secret injury reason for goal slump?

Jan 6, 2011, 9:55 PM EDT

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Alex Ovechkin‘s lack of goal scoring this year has been a headline all of its own this season. Through 41 games Ovechkin has just 14 goals on the season. He’s still leading the Caps in points scored thanks to getting 28 assists this year, but Ovechkin is and has been a goal-scoring monster since joining the NHL.

Today, we found out that Ovechkin received a cortisone shot for an injury that’s been nagging him this season. While it raises our eyebrows enough to hear that he’s getting a shot to take care of an injury, it’s strange enough to hear that he’s injured at all. Caps coach Bruce Boudreau has to take any and all precautions with his top star as the Caps cannot afford to lose any amount of offense from the lineup. Corey Masisak of NHL.com has the story.

Neither Ovechkin nor Boudreau would comment on the specifics of the injury, but the Capitals captain was taking his left hand off his stick during drills and even shot the puck once with only his right hand. Ovechkin has been spotted on television broadcasts rolling his left wrist while sitting at the bench during games at different points this season.

Boudreau said he didn’t know how long the injury has been bothering Ovechkin, or if it has affected his play. Ovechkin has 14 goals at the halfway point of the season — far off the pace for even his worst season of his career (46 in 2006-07).

“I don’t know — it has probably been awhile for him to get a cortisone shot,” Boudreau said. “I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you. We’ll find out this weekend maybe if it’s worked or what.”

Ovechkin is a right-handed shooter and if the left hand or wrist is bothering that’s a huge problem as far as controlling the puck or getting any leverage to control a shot. With how hard Ovechkin plays each game, getting any nicks and bumps isn’t a big deal but getting such aggressive treatment to make sure he can stay in the lineup isn’t something we’re used to hearing about with Ovechkin.

If this injury is indeed the thing that’s kept Ovechkin from potting goals at his usual insane rate, business is about to pick up in a big way for the Capitals if the treatment takes. The rest of the Eastern Conference had better be prepared for a potential Ovi onslaught of goals.

  1. stakex - Jan 7, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    Yeah a wrist injury certainly isn’t a good thing for a big time goal scorer, so that certainly helps explain Ovechkin’s slump. I’m sure being in a slump in of itself isn’t helping him either as its likely causing him to question himself.

    Either way, it does seem a bit odd that the Capitals have been playing Ovechkin with an injury… especially while hes not really lighting it up. I suppose its possible that the trainers feel he can’t make the injury worse while playing, but still seems strange. What ever the case, Ovechkin isn’t going to stay quiet the whole season… so Id expect at least a moderate uptick in his scoring over the next 20 games.

  2. iluvwikileaks - Jan 7, 2011 at 5:40 AM

    overrated would be my guess.

  3. clusterpuck - Jan 7, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    Looks like he decided to lay off the steroids this year.

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