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Ovechkin takes comfort in scoring chances

Feb 5, 2013, 2:59 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Despite scoring just twice his Washington’s first nine games, Alex Ovechkin is feeling good heading into tonight’s home game versus the Leafs.

“If I don’t have the chances, I say, ‘Okay, what’s wrong with me? What’s stopping me?'” Ovechkin said today, per the Washington Post. “But last two games, last three games, I have chances. I have opportunities, especially against Pittsburgh. I feel like I have really good chances to score. Sometimes I have to be more concentrate on the puck … A couple times the rebound right there and my stick was high.”

Ovechkin has 34 shots, tied for 10th most among NHL forwards. But the shots aren’t going in at the same rate they usually do. Last season, his shooting percentage was 12.5; this season, it’s 5.9.

In that way, it has to be exasperating for Ovechkin. But hey, at least he’s not Phil Kessel — Toronto’s snake-bitten sniper has zero goals on 40 shots.

“I know it’s frustrating for both those guys, I’m sure,” Caps coach Adam Oates said today, per the Washington Times. “But are you getting chances? If you’re not getting chances then you got to look in the mirror and like, ‘What’s going on?’ Figure it out. If you’re getting opportunities then I think you’re doing a lot of good things.”

Related: Neuvirth to start versus Leafs as Holtby’s frustration grows

  1. elvispocomo - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    A 12.5% shooting percentage is pretty unsustainable, but 5.9% is the opposite end of the scale. He’s doing the right things, and as the Caps settle in to their systems and have more confidence they aren’t going to get scored on so much, it’ll come.

  2. hockeywithdrawal - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Not sure what the deal is – but I can say that during the Pens game, for two periods he looked like he was only there to hit, to get his team going, etc. (don’t get me wrong – good, clean hits, and he was very noticeable on the ice). Then in the third period he went batsh*t and was the old Ovi. He was a danger to score everytime he had the puck – and it was not the one trick pony shot.

    I have to think with this guy’s talent he’ll reign it in. Whether or not it’s in DC who knows.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Yeah, the one power move to the net particularly was a sign of the old Ovi – although the old Ovi might have been able to pull it around Holtby instead of trying to stuff it though him.

      Is he worth what he makes? He was at one point but not now. Could he get back to that? Maybe, but it’ll take some work to get there.

      Also, it’ll be tough to trade him and get the value back he’s had to the Caps if they feel he has to move on. Plenty of teams would like him, but for what price when the cap drops to $64M next year?

  3. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Ov is not multi dimensional enough. He scores and he hits. He’s crappy without the puck especially defensively and many times when his teammates are moving the puck up the ice he’s everywhere except where he should be. He’s frustrated because he’s not scoring so he resorts to the only other aspect of his game he does well, which is throwing his weight around. Giroux, Malkin, Toews, and Crosby should be your reference for how a superstar should play the game. These guys are so good all around players that they can be franchise players. You can’t be in a team environment and not think with a team only mentality. Ov only knows 2 ways to do what he does; fast and faster. He doesn’t know how to play without the puck. If you want to know how smart a player is look at what he does when he doesn’t have the puck. It’s easy to admire him when he has the rubber because he has skills, but without the puck he’s like a lost puppy miles from home.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Feb 5, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    His production isn’t there but it’s not because of diminishing skill, IMO. When the Caps played the Flyers I know I still had heart palpitations every time he had the puck. He had a few quality scoring chances that Bryz just barely stopped. Eventually it has to turn around for this guy. He’s too dynamic. I really disagree with Oates playing him with grinders, it just doesn’t compliment his skill set.

    • stakex - Feb 5, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      I’d agree with that. The only real problem I can see with Ovechkins game is that he does have a tendency to do a flyby when he should stop at the net, or have his stick up when he does go to the net. Thats fixable. Other then that HIS game seems fine… its just a combination of a new system, terrible linemate choices by Oates, and some missed chances that have kept his point total low.

      I think its quite a bit too early to pull the “Ovis dead” panic button. By the middle of the season he might be just as dangerous as ever if Washington can start to click a little bit.

  5. mp1113 - Feb 5, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    He has definitely had the chances these past few games. Hopefully he can start to bury them and get us going in the right direction.

  6. badintent - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:28 AM

    Oh hell ! Just re-cancel the season .HIt the Time Machine button and recycle back to the past ! Tell Michel J. Fox to put the medal to the pedal and have Bettman and Fehr agree on the first day.

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