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Ovechkin heating up, Caps heating up

Dec 31, 2011, 8:29 AM EDT

New York Rangers v Washington Capitals Getty Images

Don’t look now, but Alex Ovechkin is starting to show flashes of—Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin dropped two more goals on Friday night to help lead the Caps to a 3-1 win over the struggling Sabres.

His first period goal on the man-advantage was his first power play goal at home in almost 10 months. It’s hard to believe that Ovechkin hasn’t scored a power play goal at the Phone Booth since the beginning of March. The sellout crowd at the Verizon Center even brought back the “O-Vie” chant. Looks like they’re ready to party like it’s 2009.

Despite Ovechkin’s slower start this season, he now has five goals in his last seven games. He’s still leading the high-powered Capitals in goals (14) and he’s second on the team in points. Does that say more about the lofty expectations fans have for Ovechkin or the underwhelming offensive performances of the rest of the team? Probably both.

Think about how dangerous the Capitals could be if their superstar sniper can start finding the net with some regularity like we had come to expect from him. Head coach Dale Hunter reunited the Nicklas Backstrom/Alexander Semin/Alex Ovechkin trio and it immediately paid dividends. The trio had five points against the Rangers on Wednesday and followed it up with six points against the Sabres on Friday.

“Goals we make are pretty plays but they were simple plays,” Ovechkin said about his new line combination. “We just have to continue what we do right now,” Ovechkin said. “It’s nice when you make some pretty plays and you score the goals, especially when the team needs it. It’s kind of good.”

It should come as no surprise that both games were impressive victories for the Caps. In fact, the Caps have posted a decent 4-2-1 record over a seven game stretch—the same seven game stretch that has featured a reemerging Ovechkin. It may not be the best run in the league thus far, but a few more 4-2-1 runs would at least have the Caps in a playoff spot.

Funny how a little goal scoring can make a coach look so much smarter.

  1. riles1008 - Dec 31, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Heating up? The Sabres just embarrassed them Monday night at home going up 4-0 in the first period and going on cruise control the rest of they way to win 4-2. They played the Rangers Wednesday at home and were vastly out shot, but the Rangers had Biron in net. Then they beat the Sabres at home last night 3-1 and they’re “heating up”? They lost to Colorado last week. Philly 5-1 twenty days ago. A few string along wins doesn’t equal heating up. They’re 4-4 in their last 8. At best they can finish December 8-6 with a win tonight. Heating up would be like a 5 game winning streak or plus .800 month.

  2. polegojim - Dec 31, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Actually, I hope they are heating up…for real… and not just a typical few game run.

    I’d gain a ton of respect for them if O and the Caps actually turned in a ‘complete’ year, including holding the Stanley Cup in June. Anything short of that will only increase my disdain for their hyped up brand.

  3. danphipps01 - Dec 31, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Meh. I’ll be impressed when they actually reclaim a playoff spot and hold it.

  4. polegojim - Dec 31, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    I’m diggin all the thumbs down for riles and I from Caps fans…. but not one comment posted that could remotely defy the truth of our collective statements.

    The silence is deafening. Enjoy those presidents cups.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Jan 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      you get thumbs down because your posts suck. Just plain and simple.

      signed, Wild fan

  5. blomfeld - Jan 1, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Heating Up ? …

    sure, like a Russian munitions depot heating up after receiving a direct hit from a “high velocity” 88 millimeter round fired by a King Tiger “main” battle tank ! … Ovechkin is an over-rated “hot dog” who does nothing but dishonor the many greats who have preceded him like Tretiak, Kharmalov, Petrov, Yakushev and Maltsev …

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