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Ovechkin ready for offense under Oates

Jun 26, 2012, 4:53 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin AP

Breaking: Dale Hunter hockey wasn’t Alex Ovechkin’s kind of hockey.

In Chicago for union meetings, Washington’s captain expressed optimism that the Capitals will return to their old, up-tempo ways with one of the most prolific playmakers in league history, Adam Oates, as head coach.

“It’s not blocking the shots and it’s not dump and chase,” Ovechkin said, as per the Canadian Press. “Any system that I play I learn a lot. I’m an offensive guy, it’s not a secret to anybody, and I’m pretty excited and very happy to hear the Caps signed that kind of guy who likes offense.”

We’re not sure if Ovechkin actually watched the Devils with Oates behind the bench as Peter DeBoer’s assistant, since New Jersey dumped and chased all the time to set up its tenacious forecheck.

Perhaps Ovechkin meant dump and don’t chase, as per Hunter hockey.

  1. ravenscaps48 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Ovechkin will score 45+ Goals Next Season

    • mrbizplan - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      And will be negative on the +/- chart. Offense puts fans in the seats, defense wins cups.

      • govtminion - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        Neither one has worked for the Caps so far, might as well at least go for the one that brought fans to the arena.

        And I hope the 45+ remark is right, because it means it was just a long slump he was in… but I’m operating under the assumption that the ridiculous Ovechkin of 2009 is a memory at this point until I see something suggesting otherwise.

      • grimlock410 - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        Did you even watch the Stanley cup finals? Quick and LA’s super aggressive forwards won the cup.

      • stakex - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:26 PM

        Last season, while being forced to play defense first hockey, was the first time in five seasons Ovechkin was a negative +/-.

        So your statement doesn’t make any sense, and highlights one of the biggest misconceptions about Ovechkin. From 2007 through 2009 Ovechkin was a +81 (while scoring 331 points). So I never quite understand why people say Ovechkin needs to change his game, and worry more about defense then scoring goals. He did that last season, and not only did his offense take a huge hit…. he was a -8.

        Hunter hockey did not work for Ovechkin, and Oates needs to realize that. Letting Ovechkin go back to playing the kind of hockey he did in 07-09 is the best possible thing the Caps can do. For better or for worse, the best defense Ovechkin plays is putting the puck in the other teams net.

      • danphipps01 - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:45 PM

        Stakex has the truth of it. Ovechkin was never taught to play a complete game. You’ve seen how much attention and praise he gets as a star player over here – imagine how much worship he received as he developed in Russia. I doubt he had to do anything on the ice he didn’t feel like doing until playing in the NHL – and even then, not until Hunter. At this point, he’s so set in his ways he’s probably not going to learn anything new, so why waste him on the backcheck? He’s never going to be able to wrap his head around that side of the game.

      • tru2joelu4eva - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:33 AM

        @grimlock410, la’s aggressive forwards definitely played a major role in their victory, there’s no doubt about that, but don’t be quick to dismiss their stunning 1.50 gas in the playoffs. they didn’t even average 3 goals/game for in the playoffs. granted an 2.85 that time of the year isn’t too shabby, it’s definitely not jaw-dropping… look at pitts, they led the league in goals/game in the playoffs, but had the worst gaa (5) and we ousted in the first round.

      • babykaby - Jun 27, 2012 at 6:21 AM

        Funny, I didn’t see any empty seats this past season, so I’m fairly certain defense fills seats, too.

  2. capsfan19 - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Chicago???? Howd they win? Ha and boston outscoring the canucks 20 something to under 10 goals?? I mean boston has a strong d but with guys like horton, seguin, ryder etc (during their stanley cup run)

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      It all comes down to goaltending, Thomas won the B’s the Cup

      • danphipps01 - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:19 PM

        And that’s not even disrespecting the rest of the team. It’s just a statement of fact. It was a great roster. It was a great roster that nonetheless wouldn’t have made it to any of the three game sevens it had to play without its goalie. Montreal took ‘em to game seven overtime even WITH Thomas in net. Think they’d have won with Rask? Not likely. Same with Tampa, same with Vancouver. Almost the entire Tampa series was decided on one-goal games, with Boston again barely edging the Bolts out, and Vancouver took 154 shots *in their four losses alone* – Thomas stopped 151 of them.

        With anyone else in net, they’d still be trying to end their Cup drought. He was just that good that year.

    • danphipps01 - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:09 PM

      Chicago won by being a bottom-five team for a couple of years and putting together a stacked roster consisting almost entirely of cheap ELC and RFA contracts led by a pair of top-five draft picks. Boston won because their goalie realized that there is no spoon and ended up seeing the entire Cup run in bullet time. Boston wasn’t even a high-scoring team that year. If anything, it was built from the net out, with more emphasis being placed on quality defensemen and two-way forwards (like reigning Selke winner Bergeron) than balls-out offense.

      On the bright side, Braden Holtby seems well on his way to doing the same thing, so there’s always that to look forward to.

  3. eyeh8goodell - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    His squad’s offensive output in NJ wasn’t exactly note worthy. But the NHL needs to crack down on all the clutch and grab.

  4. rsl22 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    I love how they cut out Ovechkin’s next sentence….the very next sentence in his comment was:

    “But again, you play offense but you don’t forget about defense.”

    • babykaby - Jun 27, 2012 at 6:33 AM

      They never give you the full tilt of anything Ovechkin says, that’s why a lot of people find fault with him. Ovechkin has stated time and time again that it is all about the team and he will do whatever it takes to win. If they want him to be more defensive he is willing to try it, but I will never understand not letting one of the most prolific scorers in the world do what he was hired to do. It just doesn’t make sense to me to change the thing about a player that made you select him in the draft to begin with. Maybe, just maybe, if those players that were hired to play defense (as in Shultz, Wideman and Green) behind Ovechkin did their jobs better, we wouldn’t have to worry about Ovechkin’s defensive skills.

  5. capsfan19 - Jun 26, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    OVI WANT MORE BORSCHE!

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:28 AM

      Minor edit: borscht.

  6. zaksyuk - Jun 27, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Sick of people complaining about Ovi’s defense. Id rather have a game changer over 50 goals then a fish out of water at 30-40. If you lived in a bad neighborhood would you take out your dogs teeth so he could bark louder ? Not the best metaphor but hey i woke up 10 minutes ago !

    • govtminion - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Just FYI, I read this comment while laughing to my wife. She had to sit down she was laughing so hard. You win teh internetz for the day.

      • zaksyuk - Jun 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        thank you so much!
        Comments like this are the reason i do what i do !

  7. kotteintheslot - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    At the very least, I can see a significant increase in Ovi’s PP goals. If Oates can find a way for him to get open with his shot, it will be very tough for any team. Even if you want to say his play has been down lately, his shot is still close to 100 mph and he has a crazy quick release.

  8. selldannysell - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    “It’s not blocking the shots and it’s not dump and chase.” As big of a Caps fan as I am, that statement really reeks of arrogance. What, you’re too good to block shots and dump and chase? I hope Oatesie can get this man to screw his head on right.

    • babykaby - Jun 28, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Don’t be stupid. Watch the video, what Ovechkin said was not arrogant. Once again the press only gives you a snippet of what he said and takes it out of context. Basicly, he said that he’s glad Oates likes more of an aggressive system because he is a scorer, but at the same time you can’t forget about defense, He also said he has learned from every system, and coach, he has played (for). Give Ovechkin a break for Heaven’s sake. The guy was brought to DC to score, that’s what he does,so of course he wants the opportunity to do what he signed a contract to do. My advice to you, don’t believe everything you read about any player, because the media enjoys misguiding and causing controversy. If you don’t care for Ovie, root for another team. I personally hope the guy always wants to score.

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