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As hot as Marleau is, Alex Ovechkin is not

Jan 27, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals Getty Images

When you think of prolific goal scorers, Alex Ovechkin usually jumps to mind right away. This season, that hasn’t been the case. Seeing Patrick Marleau start off the season on fire (multiple goals in four straight games) and the Capitals being winless to start the year have only helped highlight Ovechkin’s slow start.

As Stephen Whyno of The Washington Times shares, Ovechkin knows he’s got to do better for the team and himself.

“Of course I wanna see my name on the score list,” the captain said. “We’re gonna try. It’s not frustrating. Right now most important thing it’s not about make a points or make goals. We have to take a win. One win and then I think it’s gonna be a very relief for us.”

This season, Ovechkin has no goals and just one assist. Calling that a slow start is being polite.

In Washington’s last game against New Jersey, Ovechkin played on a line with Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb. If those don’t sound like the sorts of players you’d expect him to be with normally, you’re right. Coach Adam Oates is trying to get things figured out on the fly as the team struggles, but Ovechkin finding his stride would go a long way towards solving the team’s problems.

  1. joecat111 - Jan 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Stop trying to score highlight reel goals and try some garbage ones on rebounds…they all add up the same way.

  2. scaarepittschamberofcommerce - Jan 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    ill give you the benefit of the doubt and say you took that quote from ovechkin verbatim hahaha.

  3. trick9 - Jan 27, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    They need to stop playing him with 4th liners and get him good line-mates. Playing him with Beagle and Crabb just makes it very easy for other teams.

    • letsgopens8771 - Jan 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      True, but that is not why he is not preforming. He is just too inconsistent and he is a baby when things don’t go his way like with both Boudreau and Dale Hunter. I think it is just that teams have figured out how to stop him. They have been bringing in shutdown defensemen to stop Ovi, especially when he lugs the puck like he loves to do. They just know what is coming when he steps on the ice.

      • dcfan4life - Jan 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        This is absolutely true. His curl and drag move hasnt worked one on one in a few years since its so well known. Defenders know he loved to use them as a screen and shoot between their legs so they are playing closer to him. And he always goes top near side shelf on his one time slappers, so goalies on the PP always move there. He should go lower or far side just once in a while. There is no doubt in my mind the league figured him out.

    • govtminion - Jan 27, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      They started off with him playing next to Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johannson- that didn’t work, so they shuffled things around to the above example. He’s not playing well with ANYONE- as the article says.

  4. hallsy86 - Jan 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM


    • buckeyeshockey - Jan 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      just trade him to Buffalo

    • ravenscaps48 - Jan 27, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      I said the same thing the other day, but got so much negative feedback… It might be best for both the team as well as Alex

  5. sjsharks66 - Jan 27, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    So i guess it wasn’t Hunters fault after all?

    • 19to77 - Jan 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

      Three seasons, three coaches, and he’s looked pretty anaemic under all of them. It’s not a system thing, a personality clash thing or any other excuse the media makes for him by blaming anyone and everyone else. Somewhere along the line, he just stopped giving his all.

  6. macjacmccoy - Jan 27, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    When will people stop making excuses for Ovi? Bad Coaching, bad linemates, injuries, slow starts etc. . Maybe its time people just stop with the hyperbole and call a spade a spade. He has lost a step. Now he isnt a bum all the sudden but he is no longer a superstar player. Heck he might still be an all star but hes not the shoe in guaranteed top 10 scorer he use to be.

    Once people get over the NHL propaganda of Ovi being some kind of second coming must watch player, and everyone realizes hes just a normal guy. Then all the questions about why he isnt living up to that will go away.

  7. ethanmacleod1685 - Jan 27, 2013 at 1:39 PM

    Marleau over ovi anyway!

  8. 19to77 - Jan 27, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Oh, I don’t know, he’s a couple seasons removed from “prolific” in my mind.

  9. stakex - Jan 27, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    Two things worth pointing out when it comes to Ovi’s slow start is that for the first four games he was playing a position in which he had never played before. Thats obviously going to hurt his play. Also, the Caps as a team have looked simply awful. You can blame Ovi for that if you want, but its far from his fault (or at least only his fault). Their defensevie zone play has been bad, their breakout has been laughable, and they can’t get setup in the offensive zone. Thats why no one is scoring on the Caps, and why they are last in the east.

    The funny part about everyone saying defenses know how to play Ovi and all that is the guy still scored 38 goals last year while playing on a defense only team. His overall point total was down because none of his linemates were scoring and he had a career low in assists… but he was still scoring.

    • 19to77 - Jan 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Buddy, be fair – coaches switch NHL wingers from side to side all the time. At that elite a level, the hockey IQ necessary to grasp the angle changes is fairly common. Maybe it takes them a few games to figure it out, but they don’t look THAT useless while doing it – and most of them aren’t as skilled as we’re all supposed to believe Ovi is, either.

  10. westof1club - Jan 27, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Somebody name the 2nd leading goal scorer on the Caps last year. Then tell me management hasn’t made it easy to shut this team down. Marleau has other finishers on supporting lines, Ovi doesn’t.

    Ovi is elite. He just can’t do it alone. Leonsis has ridden the Ovi train long enough. Spring for some help. Chimera shouldn’t be the team’s 2nd best goal scorer.

    • eyeh8goodell - Jan 27, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Stop with the excuses. Ovi hasn’t been “elite” in going on 3 seasons now. At some point you guys have to face reality. Ovie wasn’t doing anything even when he had “help” over the last couple years.

    • polegojim - Jan 27, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      West… Ovi isn’t a victim.

      Many have forgotten WHY all the changes occurred… it was because the Caps either missed the playoffs… or were one and done… and have never finished what they started.

      That has all been during the Ovi years.

      Give me a grinding, work horse team with chemistry any day of the week, over Superstars.

  11. westof1club - Jan 27, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Playing without Backstrom, next to Brouwer or Laich, scores 38 goals in a defensive system (5th overall in NHL). 2 points per game on his KHL team. He’s elite. The fact you don’t like him doesn’t change that.

    Caps need scoring depth to disperse opposing lines.

  12. phillyphanatic77 - Jan 27, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    It amazes me how hard it has become for one the leagues prolific scorers to find the back of the net. Even last season, in a down year, he scored 38 goals, which would have been a career year for a lot of players. But this season hes been absent. There’s just something about the Caps so far this season where it seems everyone is underachieving. Is it time for a change of scenery? Ive only seen a little bit of the Caps this season but the time I watched Ovi has been invisible. Is it mental? A physical issue? His linemates? The coaching? Being stagnant in the same city? Who knows, but there would definitely be teams lining up with solid offers if he was on the block. Sometimes a struggling superstar needs a fresh start. Or maybe he’ll straighten it out in DC and regain the form we all expect.

    • rg3isvictory - Jan 27, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      The Caps GM, G.M. needs to shoulder much of this blame. Either get OVI some help or trade/buy him out. This team got rid of its second best weapon b/c Semin wasn’t willing to be used improperly. Like it or not but OVI is limited to skating and scoring. Not laying down to block shots and play shut down Def. Maybe the Caps have talent in the minors & didn’t want to spend money on a sour grape like Semin but G.M.’s job is to build the best team. This offseason included losing Semin while not replacing him or adding much in depth. The team is loaded with blue collar and above average talent while lacking game changers. OVI maybe be the best guy on the team but without help, he’ll never be the best on the ice!

  13. lazykyosuke - Jan 27, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Seems like OV is playing like Kovy (when Kovy played for ATL) his heart isn’t in the franchise anymore. Really started last year (or two years ago) when the NHL suspended him and he decided to not do the Skills competition. Then add the coach changes, different style of play, just seems like nobody has his back. Hard to play for an organization you don’t respect.

  14. jdvalk - Jan 27, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Did anyone see what he did in the KHL? He scored! No “the same old moves” garbage, no “he’s a baby” claptrap, no “he’s not elite no more” nonsense, just plenty of goals and assists. The problem is a GM hired by Abe Pollin on his 5th coach a decade and a half in, and who’s running who knows what system without success. There’s your problem, not #8.

  15. baymac408 - Jan 27, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    As a SHARKS fan I really hope he keeps a steady pace on contribution.. Especially when it’s playoff time.. We all know how bad we want that cup! LETS GET IT SHARKS.. Bay are is in full effect

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