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Boudreau on Ovechkin: ‘He’s got a long way to go’

Oct 11, 2011, 12:31 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Tomas Vokoun received the most criticism for the Washington Capitals’ sloppy 6-5 shootout win last night, but he wasn’t the only player who drew Bruce Boudreau’s ire. Pretty much all of the team’s big name players looked lousy in that game, but Boudreau singled out the biggest of them all: Alex Ovechkin.

“I think he’s got a long way to go to get to where he needs to be and should be,” Boudreau said after Ovechkin was a minus-2 in the Capitals’ wild 6-5 shootout win over the Lightning. “He’s our No. 1 player, but he can be better, there’s no doubt about it.”

It was difficult to shake the feeling that something was a little “off” about Ovechkin last night. He registered zero points and a -2 rating against the Tampa Bay Lightning and only has one assist and five shots in two games so far this season.

Ovechkin isn’t exactly a shutdown forward in his own end, so his offensive dry spells tend to be a little more noticeable. Ovi is coming off the worst year of his NHL career – which would be an outstanding season for just about any other player – but hopefully things will start bouncing his way soon enough.

If you ask Boudreau, Ovechkin could do a little more to “earn” those bounces.

  1. jpelle82 - Oct 11, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    not even a week into the season, come on coach lay off already….

  2. paulsdamnblog - Oct 11, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Wonder if Boudreau’s comments stem from the fact that he’s got a lot of pressure on him to win this season?

    • stakex - Oct 11, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      Probably. I think its fair to say that if the Caps don’t go deep, hes going to be fired.

      Then again, I would have said the same thing last year.

  3. stakex - Oct 11, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Theres no doubt Ovechkin is off to a bit of a slow start, but his play last night wasn’t THAT bad. After all, hes never been a defensive player… and Boudreau shouldn’t try to force him into that role. To be honest, I think thats what screwed up his game last year, the emphasis on defensive play.

    Boudreau should say one thing, and one thing only to his first line and especially Ovechkin: “Go put the puck in the net… we have defensemen to handle the rest”.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 11, 2011 at 5:26 PM

    Ovi better step it up, he is killing my fantasy team ha. Leaders aren’t born over night. It’s a WIP.

  5. mojosmagic - Oct 11, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    The only thing off is the head coach.

  6. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Oct 11, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    there is no reason to change his game like another poster said. let him focus 100% on scoring and let his D develop over time. He will win more games for the caps scoring 50+ goals than playing as a 3rd line winger that can score 30-35….

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