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Zdeno Chara wins Round 1 against Alex Ovechkin

Apr 12, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

Zdeno Chara, Alex Ovechkin AP

It’s not fair to break down the Washington Capitals-Boston Bruins series to Alex Ovechkin vs. Zdeno Chara … but it sure is kinda fun, isn’t it? By just about any measure, Chara subdued Ovechkin in Game 1 – which was important because Boston barely won by a score of 1-0 in overtime.

Let’s take a look at Ovechkin and Chara’s numbers:

Ovi: one shot on goal, zero missed shots, seven hits and one giveaway in 17:34 of ice time.
Chara: two shots on goal, one missed shot, one penalty, four hits and 21:46 of ice time.

Ovechkin’s seven hits show that he was involved in the game – at least from a physical perspective – but I italicized his missed shots because it reveals that he wasn’t even really able to release his shot very often. Even if his accuracy was off, having a few missed shots on goal would give a little bit more reason for optimism; instead, he was limited enough that he only fired one shot – a pretty decent one – that Tim Thomas was able to handle.

A steady flow of Bruins power plays from the end of the first period and beginning of the second might explain both players’ limited ice time, but that’s a promising sign for Chara. Keeping Big Z’s ice time reasonable is a really nice break for Boston, especially if the Caps can make this a long series.

Dale Hunter’s task is to get Ovechkin on the ice more often. It’ll be easier to get him away from Chara once the series shifts to Washington, but either way, 17:34 of ice time just isn’t enough for Ovechkin – especially since he finished the season on a somewhat stealthy hot streak.

  1. BurkieInBoston - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    Jack Edwards was gushing over Ovechkin’s hitting in 1st period, to the point that he said Ovie got the better of Seidenberg on a collision corner boards to right of Thomas, when clearly he did not. Jack must go. I’m this close to turning NESN’s sound down & listening to Goucher & Beerzie moving forward. Never realized how physical Ovechkin’s game was until tonight. This looks like it’s going 7 games.

    • HawaiiHockey - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:40 AM

      He is consistently the worst announcer. Its too bad because he has the passion and excitement to up the interest factor of a game. But his Bruins-blindedness leaves him announcing things don’t happen.

      It’s at its worst when a fight breaks out
      “Oh, Marchand is pounding him!” Marchand swinging and missing….
      “Marchand blocks!” … with his head…
      On and on…

      I gave up on him a long time ago.

      • bergeronforselke - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:15 AM

        Agreed but listening to the Caps home color guy (Craig Laughlin) and his nasally rantings isnt any better.

    • homelanddefense - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:26 AM

      I agree. Im a Bruins fan and I have always hated him. I have no problem with the home announcer giving an edge to his team, but Edwards is over the top.

      • HawaiiHockey - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        Yep… Edwards is SO over the top that he announcing things that aren’t happening. That’s all I’m saying. I think all the thumbs downs on my comment are from Blinded Bruins fans that have no clue what I’m talking about because they see with the same eyes as Edwards. :P

  2. witchrunner - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    The big news is the B’s D stepped up. They keep that up and it will be 2 in a row. The offense will come along on it’s own. They just have to be “good enough.”

  3. Christian Bullock - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    The first two periods saw the Caps look lifeless in the offensive zone (if they could get the puck in, anyway). The third faired better for them but Boston really outplayed them.

  4. ballistictrajectory - Apr 13, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    I though (no stats to support it) that Ovi lightened up significantly after Seidenberg nailed him along the center ice boards. I don’t know if he got some sense knocked into him or tweaked something and dialed it back to compensate but something changed. I also noted that once he stopped trying to hit everything wearing Bruins colors he started to play better.

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