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Video: Ovechkin’s latest goal hints at return to form

Oct 7, 2012, 8:50 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Aside from the oddness of wearing No. 32, Alex Ovechkin is displaying glimpses of the blistering sniper from his 50+ goal seasons.

Firing 11 shots on goal in his duel with Ilya Kovalchuk was the first good sign.

While he didn’t carve his way through defensemen like he did during his most famous tallies, this slam-dunk slapper also conjures the good old days of Ovechkin lighting up scoreboards:

He’s not leaving the rest of the KHL in the dust with three goals (that power-play bit included) and five assists in seven games, but there are traces of the infectiously joyous Ovi before things got a little moodier in Washington.

Ovechkin’s KHL numbers could start piling up if his shooting percentage climbs. He’s already registered 41 shots on goal in those seven contests, showing the trigger-happy tendencies that made him so dangerous in his best stretches.

Since putting up an astonishing 528 shots on goal in 2008-09, he’s been more gun-shy in each season, dipping to a career-low 303 last season.

That’s still a ton of attempts for a normal player, but Ovechkin’s aim isn’t to be normal.

Perhaps a palate cleanser overseas might just change his trajectory, then. (If he comes back to the NHL, of course.)

  1. stakex - Oct 7, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    All this shows is that the system Washington is trying to force on Ovechkin is horrible for his game. I know they want the guy to be a bit more defensively responsible, but they went wayyy too far overboard with that over the last couple seasons. What the Caps really need to do is accept him for who he is, and let his offense be his best defense. Afterall, the years when Ovechkin was his best (07-09) he was a combined +81… I wouldn’t mess with that one bit. Yet Washington did mess with it, and he hasn’t been the same player since.

    • wethog66 - Oct 7, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      Good thing GMGM and the Caps hired Oates as HC to open things up for good old OV.

      • ravenscaps48 - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:12 AM

        I’d love to think this… But what’s being lost here is that there is much more room to operate for him due to the wider sheet of ice…. But regardless, nice goal, Captain!

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      I read this quote some time ago and immediately thought of guys like Ovechkin.

      “[Russel] Westbrook’s defenders accept his faults because they’re a small part of the greater good: He brings so many unique things to the table, fills the stat sheet in so many different ways, competes so freaking hard every game and remains such a good-natured teammate, they’re fine with any collateral damage.”

      Ovechkin doesn’t play great defense. He doesn’t really play good defense, aside from the rare shift now and then. At best, he plays average on defense.

      The thing is, one shouldn’t hammer his talent for scoring in order to get him to play a little better defensively. You ignore the 10% (lack of defensive mindset) and allow him to be the offensive talent he’s supposed to be. He’s also a winger, not a center, so his defensive responsibilities are lessened.

      I’ve seen people complain that he plays too near the blue line in the defensive zone. Let me tell you, there is very little that scares a defenseman more than having a super talented wing that close to a break-away; chip the puck past the d-man and it’s OV one-on-one against the goalie. If he played 20 ft. further into the d-zone, both d-men have time to adjust to the threat. (Not that all wingers should do this, but he’s just so average on defense, that this can be overlooked in favor of his favorables.)

  2. gianthatr - Oct 7, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    Welcome back old friend…

  3. blomfeld - Oct 8, 2012 at 5:13 AM


    The bottom line is that despite all the hype, Ovechkin’s 339 NHL goals doesn’t even “remotely” get him close to the “Top 100” goal scorers of all time ? Even people like Rick Vaive (441) and Brian Propp (425) have vastly superior numbers ! So while I can understand why some people “hope” this clown makes it big, the simple fact remains that sometimes “hope and reality” are two completely different things !

  4. id4joey - Oct 8, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Amen blomfeld. This guy is flashy for sure, and as you pointed out his numbers are ordinary. He is NOT a winner. He is NOT a franchise player. He is incapable of elevating his game to be the one to win the big pressure games in the playoffs. He is undeserving of the C on his jersey.

  5. lostpuppysyndrome - Oct 8, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Just curious: why aren’t any of the names on players’ backs in cyrillic?

  6. polegojim - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    O is lazy and typifies why pay for performance SHOULD be part of the ‘new deal’… but it never will,

    He got paid and chills out whenever convenient.

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