Jul 31, 2012, 1:13 PM EDT
Of all the Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin might’ve been the happiest when the club hired one of the most prolific scorers in NHL history, Adam Oates, as the team’s head coach.
“It’s not blocking the shots and it’s not dump and chase,” Ovechkin said, not-so-subtly referencing former coach Dale Hunter’s defense-first philosophy. “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.”
Ovechkin did add “you don’t forget about defense,” but that didn’t stop Caps GM George McPhee from joking that his captain “still might have to dump it in and block a shot once in a while.”
It’s not likely Washington will revert all the way back to run-and-gun hockey next season, but associate goalie coach Olaf Kolzig did admit the Caps “maybe weren’t utilizing the players that we had” under Hunter.
For example, Ovechkin.
In Game 2 of Washington’s second-round playoff series against the Rangers – a 3-2 Caps victory – the former 65-goal scorer spent just 13:36 on the ice, more than six minutes less than grinding forward Jay Beagle.
Ovechkin’s salary in 2011-12 was $9 million.
Beagle’s was $525,000.
Forward Troy Brouwer is hoping Oates – who finished his career with 1,420 points in 1,337 games – can balance offensive freedom with defensive responsibility.
“Adam has a lot of good ideas on how to make sure a team is even keeled,” Brouwer told the Washington Post. “Dale was very defensive and we were taking that to the extreme, even if it’s not to that point it’s important that guys continue to pay attention to the details.
“I sure hope that our star players don’t throw everything we learned out the window and don’t focus solely on offense. We need those guys blocking shots, paying the price and getting back in the defensive zone too. Those are skills you can’t forget, those are things that make a difference for successful teams.”
It’s Washington Capitals day on PHT. Keep checking back for more Caps-related stories.
May 21, 2013, 7:37 PM EDT
This might be getting old to him by now.
May 21, 2013, 6:49 PM EDT
He was banged up roughly in Game 3.
May 21, 2013, 6:08 PM EDT
A 13-percent rise from last year.
May 21, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Off to a surprising 2-1 series lead over Chicago.
May 21, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT
He’ll replace Peter Horachek, who was fired yesterday.
May 21, 2013, 4:49 PM EDT
(His brother is Patrick Roy.)
May 21, 2013, 4:20 PM EDT
May 21, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT
Meanwhile, Logan Couture says he’s “all good.”
May 21, 2013, 4:01 PM EDT
Jarmo, talking tough.
May 21, 2013, 3:43 PM EDT
Montreal’s 27-year-old defenseman was hurt in April while trying to hit Milan Lucic.
May 21, 2013, 3:02 PM EDT
San Jose hasn’t lost at HP Pavilion this postseason.
May 21, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT
Edmonton’s new rink is set to open in 2016.
May 21, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT
The panel gets another goalie.
May 21, 2013, 1:41 PM EDT
It’s his old team, Dynamo Moscow.
May 21, 2013, 1:38 PM EDT
It’s been two weeks since they were swept by the Sharks.
May 21, 2013, 1:17 PM EDT
He’s “getting closer” to a return, though.
May 21, 2013, 12:44 PM EDT
Boston can take a commanding lead on the Rangers.
May 21, 2013, 12:27 PM EDT
Ray Emery sits…for now.
May 21, 2013, 11:56 AM EDT
The 29-year-old was on the ice for all five Boston goals in Game 2.
May 21, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT
He’s got the Red Wings two wins shy of a huge upset.
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