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Ovechkin “still might have to dump it in and block a shot once in a while”

Jun 27, 2012, 5:07 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Adam Oates plans to “push the pace and be an aggressive team” when he takes over behind Washington’s bench next season; however, he doesn’t “see any reason to change” how the Capitals played under Dale Hunter, so far as the “little things” are concerned.

Echoing Oates’ sentiments, general manager George McPhee put it this way when talking about Alex Ovechkin at today’s introductory press conference: “He still might have to dump it in and block a shot once in a while.”

Yesterday, Ovechkin said he was excited at the prospect of playing for an offensive-minded coach: “It’s not blocking the shots and it’s not dump and chase.”

Thus, McPhee’s quip.

Caps associate goaltending coach Olie Kolzig thinks Oates will strike a “great balance” between Hunter and the guy that preceded Hunter, Bruce Boudreau.

“Dale was a blue collar guy who believed in defensive hockey,” Kolzig told

“When he took over [for Boudreau on Nov. 28] we were a very fragile hockey team both defensively and offensively. And the way he corrected it was by saying, ‘Hey, if we can’t score goals we can sure as hell prevent them.’ And to his credit he got all the guys to buy in. We were one game away from going to the conference finals.

“But we still maybe weren’t utilizing the players that we had.”

For example, Ovechkin, who saw limited ice time under Hunter when the Caps were trying to protect a lead, e.g. Game 2 of Washington’s second-round series against the Rangers in which Ovechkin played just 13:36.

Watch the full press conference below:

  1. bmoreredfury311 - Jun 27, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    IS OCT 12th YET ?!?! I love Otas philosophy. GO CAPS!

  2. polegojim - Jun 27, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Oates is the real deal.

    He’ll get the best from O.

    • ravenscaps48 - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      No Doubt… Let’s just make a few more moves like getting Doan and Kubina, and I think we’ll be in decent shape next season!

      • polegojim - Jun 28, 2012 at 8:06 AM

        Yes, they’ve positioned themselves much better than in previous years.

  3. drewsylvania - Jun 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Probably interpreting Ovechkin’s quote wrong, but it makes it seem like he doesn’t want to do the little things that winning requires.

    • kotteintheslot - Jun 28, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      “Any system that I played, I learn a lot. I’m an offensive guy, it’s no secret to nobody. I’m pretty excited and very happy to hear the Caps signed that kind of guy that likes offense. But again, you play offense but you don’t forget about defense.” The next part of that statement conveniently left out to try and make Ovechkin sound selfish

      • cardsandbluesforever - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        Ovechkin might want to change his jersey number to 16.

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