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Alex Ovechkin: 'It was a pretty big step for us tonight'

10094522H22252344.jpegJohn McDonnell/The Washington Post

Alex Ovechkin continued his streak of a goal in every home opener, tallying two against Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils tonight (one on a penalty shot) to bring his total to 10 goals and two assists in six games.

"I've had a couple of penalty shots against Marty and you never know what he is going to do, so I just tried to make some simple move and [the] puck goes in," Ovechkin said of the penalty shot, only his second success of seven career attempts. "I was pretty happy."

Washington's captain was also happy about the way his team rebounded after last night's season-opening loss in Atlanta.

"Everybody played bad last night and tonight we moved our legs and finished our checks, played better in the neutral zone, defensive zone," Ovechkin said. "I think guys like Brads, Chimmer, Greenie and Hendricks do unbelievable jobs protecting our guys and protect themselves. It was a pretty big step for us tonight."

By Lindsay Applebaum  | October 9, 2010; 10:37 PM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, New Jersey Devils  
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Next: Caps crush Devils, 7-2

Comments

Great game from the guys in red sweaters. Defensive mistakes were minimized and as a whole, they did a better job recovering on the backcheck.

Green looked like a true, elite NHL defenseman these past two games.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

richmondphil2, what game did you watch yesterday? Green looked terrible against Atlanta.

Posted by: swalker7 | October 9, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

It was a good PRE-season win, nothing more nothing less.

And I certainly don't wanna hear the captain of this team using the words like "big step" after Game 2 of 82.

Posted by: joek443 | October 9, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

No, he didn't.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

How about the PK? Looks much better these first two games, they look more agressive.

Posted by: ksaul79 | October 9, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

PK was good, but the PP needs some work.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Gotta disagree with you, for the most part, joek. I get what you are saying about the "preseason," but it seems to me the specificity of OV's comments after a blowout win shows that he "gets it" (and that his English is improving).

As far as it being a "big step," I hope he's referring to the second half of his comment, about people standing up for one another and each other with physical play: setting the tone with scrap and physicality, not being pushed around or only trying to outscore the other guys 11-3 as payback or pushback. Letting that be the foundation for playing D the way it should be played.

Let's face it: in the past the Caps would've won that game 7-4 or 7-5, not held the Devils to no goals on 23 shots through the last two periods. (Granted that's a lot of shots, but in a blowout . . .)

Now, can they keep that up throughout the pre- and "real" season? I agree that remains to be seen.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 9, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

@Capsfan75

Carlson got the Palm steak. Him and Neuvy shall feast like kings. (as if 500K minimum isn't enough to feast anyway..haha)

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 9, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
Good ole fashion ass whoopin. Stay classy NJ with that pathetic crap at the end of the game. I hated their coach/player McLean then and I hope a puck crushes him in the face on the bench at some point this season. I hope it hits him like that one that hit Volchenkov. We beat them down in the fights and kicked their ass back to the garden sludge state.

BEFORE ALL OF THAT: Now that's how you respond. Welcome to the new season - a game late Caps. Everyone contributing and scoring in so many different ways.

Neuvy - standing tall and strong in net. Good for the kid. Each game brings that much more experience.

Ovie, Chimera, and Fehr's goal were beautiful and I enjoyed Laich's grand theft of a goal.

It's always a pleasure when you can make a Hall of Fame goalie look like swiss cheese from time to time. This game is springboard to big things to come for this team. Time to build off it.

The Sens have dropped the first two games and are going to come a knockin at the booth on Monday night. BRING IT.

It's been a two-point night. Ice Breakers Goal Shakers.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | October 9, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

good to see the team stick together and you can see the benefit of having a Hendricks in the lineup. Good team toughness, and it gave Bradley a boost to see both Chimera and Hendricks get involved and step up. If Chimera can keep this up (big IF in my book because I've seen him do this early and then he'll drop that part of his game), but if he can keep it up it'll go a long way towards constructing the type of 3rd line that we need. Fehr was skating well tonight too and getting in on the forecheck.

My only gripe besides the way Alzner plays near his net and along the boards, and our 1st pd, is why didn't Boudreau put Erskine out with the last change considering LeBlond was on the ice? John Maclean is known to favor "sending a msg". He's not Mike Keenan but he likes that kind of hockey. For him to put LeBlond on the ice at the end was a clear signal to Bruce to counter. And he chose not to. Terrible choice because it almost got MaJo killed.

that being said, i haven't seen an enforcer go after a young finesse kid like this at the end of a game in a loooong time. Maybe 15 yrs or more. True old gangsta thug tactic. I hope DJK gets a chance to actually do some enforcing this season under Bruce whose Lady Byng style at the end of tonight's game isn't going to do his team any favors.

all in all a good game and from what I'm seeing of Fehr he's skating well and looking a little more "power forwardy" out there. ditto the praise for mike green. He is carrying over his commitment to hitting from the 2nd half of last season.

Posted by: cstanton1 | October 10, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

The next 80 games are the "pre-season" to be quite honest.

It's great seeing guys like Mike Green playing with some edge and defending themselves instead of "getting them back on the power play." It's a lot better than seeing Bradley routinely getting killed against legit heavyweights or Semin playing bongos out there. Tonight's game showed Washington has some team toughness, as opposed to having one guy who could really throw hammers (back in the Brashear/Erskine days) and a bunch of guys running for cover.

I like Washington playing with some passion and not getting shoved around. As a warning, tonight isn't the last time someone asks MarJo to go. He's going to have to show up sometime this year. Hope he gets to pick his spot.

Posted by: pga6 | October 10, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that was joek's (and by extension, my) point, pga.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | October 10, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

2nd game or not,that was pretty good step. Only 80 more to go.

Posted by: ridgely1 | October 10, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I doubt we'll see many more 7-2 drubbings of the Devils. I think it's an early season abberation as teams begin to find themselves, even veteran squads like NJD. But it was very nice to see the Caps play a lot more physical and keep possession in the other team's zone. I was more impressed with the 2 than the 7, btw.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS1 | October 10, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I welcome myself as a new poster here. Some of you guys are really good here with your post. Even much better then the writer of the article. As a new season ticket holder I got to say that Matt Bradly after hitting that NLD player square on the jae and droping him had me climbing up the glass to get to McLean who by the way is a big piece of dog poop !

GO CAPS ROCK THAT RED & THANK YOU TED

Posted by: terryreece | October 10, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The Caps have a committment to fast skill hockey, but as I have been saying since Brashear left, until the league penalizes teams that obviously play this way, you must have an enforcer to protect your stars and your young players. King and Erskine are on the team for a reason. When you play teams like this you have to put them out there to take care of business. If the league comes down and fines aggressive teams 100k every time there is a 3rd period blowout fight, or suspends coaches without pay when it happens, maybe you don't need those guys as much, but we all know where the NJ's and Philly's are coming from and we will be in a lot of these games this year.

For the guy that says this was an abberation you couldn't be more short sighted. If this team stays reasonably healthy (that should read Backstrom and Ovechkin) there will be a lot of these games. If you are only talking about NJ well then you are probably right because you only get a few chances a year at them anyway.

For the guy that says the whole season is the preseason. You win the prize. You are exactly right. The rest of the teams in the division did not get enough better to win many more games against us, and we fared just as well against the other divisions. No reason to think a repeat of the scoring points title and a #1 seed is not predicted and expected. The playoffs are where we need to figure it out. But like last year we are in for some awfully fun nights for the next 6 months watching our high flying caps race past the competition and another all-star and MVP performance from a hopefully healthy and non-suspended GR8.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | October 10, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

McDonnell's picture is awesome in so many ways. To name just a few:

First with out seeing the puck, scoreboard, or other context, you can tell from Ovechkin's body language (celebration) and Brodeur's (dejection) what has just happened.

Second, the picture higlights two men who will likely go down in hockey history as all time greats. It's not only an awesome picture, it's an awesome picture of hockey gods.

Third, the sharp focus on Ovechkin in the foreground with the soft focus on Brodeur in the background is symbolic of Ovechkin's passing Brodeur as a current star in the game.

Well done, John. Well done.

Posted by: Hinding | October 10, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

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