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Video: Are the Capitals using Ovechkin the right way?

Jan 30, 2013, 11:52 AM EDT

With just one goal and two points through the first six games of the year, Alex Ovechkin is facing another round of questions regarding his play in Washington.

This time, though, the questions have extended beyond No. 8 and onto the Capitals organization, with many asking:

Is the team using Ovechkin correctly?

A highly-publicized switch to right wing (Ovechkin’s a left winger) and a recent spin with new linemates Joey Crabb and Jay Beagle — no offense to either, but they’ve been bottom-six guys their entire careers — have many wondering what the plan is.

To discuss further, here are NHL on NBC analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones:

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The Capitals currently sit 1-4-1, fourth in the Southeast Division, one point above Eastern Conference basement-dweller Florida.

Washington is back in action Thursday in Toronto.

  1. dipthatchip - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    there are no more excuses that we can hand #8. He is no longer an elite player, and at this point I wouldn’t mind a trade or buyout.

    This is the 3rd coach that has been put under the gun for his ineptitude, so it’s clear that the onus is strictly on him.

    • jpelle82 - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      i’m sure the thumbs downs are coming but i still say he was on PED’s

      • discountdoublecheck - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        Completely irresponsible accusation.

        There isn’t a shred of evidence pointing to that.

      • rg3isvictory - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        So it was PED’s that had him playing at a high level during the lock out? What people fail to see in this is the lack of decent talent around him and making less than wise decisions, like moving to right wing! Over the looong off season the Caps lost more talent than they gained. So lets agree that he has lost a step(stats suggest that isn’t correct but I digress), he may no longer be able to lead the league in goals without help but give him decent guys around him and he’ll produce amazing stats! If you swapped him and Crosby, he’d go from top 10 to top 3 and Crosby would struggle some. I love Ted and GM but their cheap business practices have squandered an amazing opportunity with OVI, Backstrom and Semin on the same team! Over paying OVI doesn’t help either!!!

    • bcsteele - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      Again Blues fan, but huge fan of this guy…

      But I fear you’re right. While I believe NOT putting him on a line with Backstrom is absolutely insane (or some other proven playmaker)…he should be able to create some havoc our there and he’s just been flat.

      Honestly, I never thought I’d say this, but a trade might do the Caps and Ovi well considering he could get a fresh start that MIGHT jump start his career again and the Cape could obviously get a good return.

      • bcsteele - Jan 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        And wow spelling mistakes (not like me, sorry)…

        havoc *out* there


        the *Caps* could

      • denmarkmd - Jan 31, 2013 at 7:29 AM

        Everyone can forget about a trade, no one is going to pick up that contract.

    • eastcoastcynic - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      I believe the jury is out on Ovechkin. For one thing, put him back on LW where he’s comfortable. Secondly, this is the third coach with a different system in 3 seasons that he and the other guys have had to adjust to; getting used to and playing w/o being too cerebral in a new system with a minimal training camp is a bit challenging.

      As far a the PED’s, he does have a bit of a Frankenstein head ya know!

      • hockeydon10 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        I think it’s actually the 3rd coach/system in two seasons. Boudreau started the 2011/12 season, Hunter finished the 2011/12 season, now Oates is in for this season.

        Not that this explains it all. It’s just one thing of many that has piled up.

    • stakex - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      Something people just don’t get is that a player can be used incorrectly by his team, and have it seriously hurt his play. In Russia, Ovi was lighting it up. Why? Because he was pretty much allowed to play how he wanted, and no one was trying to force drastic changes to his game. He was also playing quite well with the guys around him, which is important.

      Over the last couple years, there have been a lot of problems in Washington. Its not just Ovechkin struggling… its the whole team. Joel Ward is their leading scorer….. thats a problem. I mean how many goals does Backstrom have? Hes suppose to be an elite player as well, yet hes has zero goals in six games. Its the system…. and it was the same problem over the last couple years. It might have been different coaches, but they have all had the same problem.

      Its also worth pointing out that Ovechkin was one of the leading scorers last year in the league playing on one of the worst scoring teams in the league. Hes still elite, hes just on a sub-par team with a bad organization.

    • valoisvipers - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Agreed, maybe they should try using him on the bench.

  2. ludacrish05 - Jan 30, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    With Bruce, it ended because he switched to a defensive system and it got sour. With hunter, it was lay back all defense and ovi still had 30+ goals. With Oates, it’s been a month of hockey!! People are just jumping the gun, I agree he has lost the stark and he pisses me off as a caps fan but it’s just to soon to talk trades

  3. mp1113 - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    as a die hard caps fan i still think they never should have stopped the run and gun. they had the best offense in the league. so they had 1 bad series against an extremely hot goalie. premature switch to a defensive team when your team lacks defensive style players. also get ovi’s ass off of the grinders line and back with real play makers and let him do his thing. stop trying to change his game and let him be the gunner that we all know he is

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