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Alex Ovechkin doesn’t want to hit people, he wants to score goals

Nov 14, 2011, 10:46 AM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

When you see Alex Ovechkin‘s stats this year, they’re decent for an average player. With 14 points and seven goals, he’s having an OK start to the year. You won’t find him at the top of the scoring lists for goals or points and you won’t even see him near the top of the list in shots on goal.

In short, the superstar Ovechkin is being bottled up and he’s none too pleased about it as Katie Carrera of The Washington Post shares.

“I have chances to score,” Ovechkin said. “My job to score goals, not make the hits.”

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau attributes Ovechkin’s step up in his physical play to the fact that Ovechkin is frustrated. Ovi the grinding forward? Ovechkin the power forward that goal hangs? Not bloody likely, but that’s the role he’s been in of late as he’s seen his shots either missing the net or finding their way into defenders pads and skates.

You’d have to think that things will turn around for Ovechkin, but with the Caps not being the run-and-gun team they used to be and teams studying up more on how to defend Ovi, seeing Alexander the 50-60 goal scorer may not happen again. The Caps being more of a team-oriented operation that can succeed without Ovechkin dominate is nice and all, but not seeing him fill the net the way he used to is a let down.

Of course, with Ovechkin evolving his game, maybe there’s a newer, more physically terrifying goal scorer waiting to be unleashed in D.C.

  1. dowhatifeellike - Nov 14, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    In related news, Jay Cutler doesn’t want to hand the ball off any more, he just wants to throw touchdowns.

    Ovechkin is big and strong for a forward and there’s no reason for him to not make hitting part of his game. Gretzky, he’s not. Whatever happened to forechecking?

  2. danphipps01 - Nov 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Bahahahahaha. Okay, Ovi, you don’t have to worry about trying too hard. Don’t sweat it, your teammates will do the hard parts for you, it’s cool.

    Please. Hitting is a PART of scoring. Saying it’s your job to take shots and little else just reveals that Ovi doesn’t put much thought into his game. You can’t get a shooting lane? Force your giant power forward body through to somewhere you can get one. Fuck. If he didn’t think he was too good to hit people they might start treating him like a major threat again. As it is? They know they can just choke his shooting lanes forever and he only comes out and personally CONFIRMS he’s not going to try and stop them physically or anything. Welp. Here’s hoping you get over yourself, Ovi. I actually enjoyed it back when you worked for your results.

    You know when it started to go wrong? When they made him captain. Since then he’s gotten lazier, stubborn, he’s started blowing off his coach and outright stating he doesn’t think he should have to do things he doesn’t want to. He was way better before they handed him the crown.

    • stakex - Nov 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM

      Ovechkins point went so far over your head its not even funny. His point was not that he shouldn’t have to hit people or that he won’t hit people, but that hes making $10 million to score… not be a guy who runs around hitting people all game. Which is true. The Caps are not paying him to check, they are paying him to score.

      You act like Ovechkin is a player who completely avoids contact, and won’t throw his weight around from time to time… which only proves you never watch him play. Hes currently ranked 65th in the league for hits this year, and second on the Capitals. Thats pretty impressive for a top tier goal scorer. Especially for a guy whom your trying to say won’t respond physically.

      Why isn’t Ovechkin putting up numbers like in years past? Its as simple as his game is not quite a sharp, and the Caps are not a run and gun team anymore. Its NOT that the league suddenly woke up after five years and learned how to play him over night.

      • dowhatifeellike - Nov 14, 2011 at 6:57 PM

        He’s making $10 million to score… but he’s not getting it done. As a professional, it’s his responsibility to find a way to contribute. If that means using his size and physicality first and shooting second, then so be it.

        And for the record, I am a Caps fan and an Ovechkin fan, but I’ve been disappointed in his play for the last 2 years.

    • johninpa - Nov 14, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      Ovechkin’s attitude continues to prevent him from being the true star he could be. Hitting, passing, playing defense and winning face offs are all part of playing hockey. He wants to take shots, good for him. If he wants to be a true star, play the rest of the game. While I’m sure I’ll hear it from the Crosby and Penguin haters, look at Sidney Crosby. He plays a complete game. He can make the passes, win the face offs, make some hits and play the defensive side of the puck. And guess what, he scores – plenty. Ovechkin could watch some tape and learn a lesson.

      • stakex - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:25 PM

        Well first of all…. winning faceoffs are not part of Ovechkins job since he plays left wing. Besides, I was never saying those things (aside from the faceoffs) weren’t part of hit job. My point was that the stats clearly say he IS hitting, and getting involved physically… being second in hits on the Caps. So I have no idea where you get this notion that Ovechkin doesn’t want to play physical. Your taking one comment he made and running with it, while ignoring the facts.

        As for him playing better defense, thats not his job. Everyone makes the Crosby/Ovechkin comparison when it comes to defense… but there is a HUGE issues with that: They both play different positions. Crosby is a center, and Ovechkin a winger. While wingers should help out on defense from time to time and I’m not syaing he should be hanging at center all day long, its more so the responsiblity of the center to help the defense out then it is a the wingers. So yeah, Crosby is a much better defensive player… but thats becasue his position requires it.

  3. tk1966 - Nov 14, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Ovi doesn’t mind hitting people… as long as he can take at least 5 or 6 strides, leave his feet, and hit them behind the play.

  4. tylerseguingirl19 - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    He’s looks like he came out of the forest… End of story

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