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Oates happy to have “had faith” in Alex Ovechkin

Apr 21, 2013, 2:51 PM EST

Alexander Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, AP

If you flash back to the first month of the NHL season, the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin were having serious struggles. Now, the Caps are atop the Southeast Division and Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 30.

As Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com hears it from coach Adam Oates, he never doubted Ovechkin would put it all together.

“A month ago I wouldn’t say anybody was saying he hadn’t lost his touch. But we had faith in him,” Oates said. “We knew what he could do. He’s proved it and we’re going as he’s going and he’s playing good right now.”

“Good” is an understatement for how he’s been playing lately. Over his last 15 games, he’s got 27 points including 18 goals. That’s the kind of play you get by a guy eager to get his team in the postseason and earn his way into the MVP discussion.

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    Let’s keep it real here ,,,,there were trade talks !

    • Joe Yerdon - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      For Ovechkin? No, there weren’t. Fans freaking out and creating phony rumors? Sure. Actual talks? Not at all.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        Excuse me,,,, there were very serious talks with San Jose !

      • Joe Yerdon - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        No, there weren’t.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:14 PM

        Ok whatever you say !

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        You may have to ban this dude. Eiggles brings nothing to the table. As for Ovi, it’s nice to see him back to his old ways but now more of a team leader/player. The NHL needs their stars to be stars.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        Ban me yeah right Iam the straw that stirs the drink !

      • haterzinc - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:46 AM

        Yeah ban eiggles. That would make this website boring. Like this forum needs more losers

    • flavadave10 - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      From who? Only one I saw was from that idiot Hockey Insider dude on Twitter.

  2. mclovinhockey - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    There were no trade talks, the caps would have rather kept AO and loss than to trade him off and lose the majority of the fan base.

    The franchise is one of the few in pro sports that knows the fans are mainly people looking for a night out. Not over serious fans.

  3. operwapitsai - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I just want to say that the case for Ovi as most VALUABLE player seems pretty clear. We all see what the capitals were “without” Ovechkin, they were literally the worst in the league…. And now we see the capitals with Ovechkin and they are arguably the hottest team in hockey. to make the obligatory Crosby/Penguins remark required for this site. Look at the Pens before and after Crosby…. not much difference, the kid just makes a good team better. I think the MVP should recognize exactly that, the MOST VALUABLE player.

    • bmscalise - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      This argument is garbage. So a player gets penalized in Hart talks because he plays for a deep team? By that logic, it should always be the best player on a bubble team that gets recognized (even when they had no business being a bubble team in the first place, given their truly terrible division). By this logic Gretzky and Lemieux would never have won an MVP. Crosby and Toewes are both more deserving than Ovie.

      Sorry- MVP is rewarded to the player who has been the best in the game during the season. In other words, it’s the MVP of the LEAGUE, not a team (seeing as each individual team gives out their own MVP). It’s that way in football, and it should be that way in hockey.

      • stakex - Apr 21, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        No, thats not actually what the MVP award is for at all. The actual award citation is “”player judged most valuable to his team”. Its not who has the most points, or goals, or assist or even who has been the best player in the league. Its about the players value to his team.

        Ovechkin is by far the most valuable player to his team this season. Crosby shouldn’t even be in the debate to be honest since the Pens have shown they don’t even need him. The Pens are on a six game winning streak without Crosby, showing that he was not the driving force behind their success this season… rather his “good play” (his mountain of secondary assists) was a product of the team as a whole. The Caps on the other hand? They would probably be in 15th place in the east right now without Ovechkin.

        The only question is will the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association’s bias against Russian players show itself, and even then it should be Taveras that wins it… not Crosby.

      • flavadave10 - Apr 22, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Not sure how you can be the MVP if your team does pretty well without you and you miss 25% of the regular season… Great player? Yes. One of the best in the world? Yes. MVP? Not this year.

  4. capsrockva - Apr 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    First of all his contract wouldn’t allow it. It would be too much of a salary cap hit. Secondly, Ted wouldn’t allow it

  5. mclovinhockey - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    The anti AO for MVP is a pretty bad argument as well.

    The MVP is the player who makes the biggest difference in the league. The caps were almost dead last till AO brought them to 3rd in the league.

    Sid put up lots of points on a team who doesn’t need him to be a cup contender.

    Question, would a D who puts up the most points in the league should win the Norris even if he is a minus 20

    • hazlydose - Apr 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Your argument for Ovechkin is using a plus/minus analogy? Is that really where you want to go? Crosby +26 Ovi Even. Over half of his goals come from the PP. Sid plays in all areas of the ice and in all situations. Ovi is a cherry picking PP scoring wonder.

      • stakex - Apr 21, 2013 at 5:09 PM

        You need to look up the definition of cherry picking. I don’t think it means what you think it means….

  6. gnrfan8804 - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Actually, pretty sure MVP is the player who is most valuable to his team. Think back when dominik hasek won it. Wad he the best player in the league? I used to hear people argue with me that he wasnt the best goalie in the league, let alone player, but without him, sabres would have been nothing those years.

    • stakex - Apr 21, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      Yes, that is exactly what it is.

      Its not a “best player in the NHL” award, its an award for the player who provides the most value to his team. Of course the award hasn’t really kept to that over the last few years, but thats what its suppose to be about.

  7. mclovinhockey - Apr 21, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    ” The Hart Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player judged to be the most valuable to his team”

    Hence why AO being the difference of the caps being 14th or 3rd in the east is a big reason why he has it in the bad

  8. watermelon1 - Apr 21, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Still need the defense to stop trying to clear the puck in front of their own goal, and mike green to stop getting abused behind the net on the boards…

    Playoff matchups will be interesting

  9. blastardo - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    If Ovi doesn’t win the Hart, Tavares should. That man has carried his team to their first playoffs in a long time. Tavares has also performed consistently this season while Crosby has had time off and Ovechkin wasn’t crash hot at the start of the season (provided he had to adapt to a new coach and a different position).

    Also, how can someone get the Hart if he sits nearly half the season out with a broken jaw? He might be the most valuable player on the ice but is worth nothing off the ice.

  10. modellforprez - Apr 21, 2013 at 10:57 PM

    Pens fan or not. who wouldnt have faith in Ovie. seriously i was just waiting for him to explode and presto. see you in the playoffs Cappy

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