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Posted at 11:07 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

In sixth NHL season, Alex Ovechkin is rounding out his game

By Katie Carrera

(Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post)


The Capitals aren't planning to skate this morning at the American Airlines Center, but the team will hold its game-day meetings, so I'll have an update from Coach Bruce Boudreau a little later.

Wednesday night in St. Louis, Alex Ovechkin recorded his 23rd assist of the season, tied for second in the league with Sidney Crosby and trailing only Henrik Sedin (27). That the Capitals' captain has racked up so many assists this season isn't, by itself, what has people surprised, but rather that he only has 10 goals in 25 games to go along with those helpers.

Ovechkin hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 14 against Atlanta, but he still has eight points in the past six games in the form of assists. He's still ranked third in the league in scoring and on pace for a 100-plus point season, and if he continues at this rate, he could eclipse his previous season record of 59 assists from the 2009-10 campaign.

So is the surge in assists simply a reflection of Ovechkin's awareness that defenders are taking away his shots, leaving greater chances for players like Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom? Or is the two-time Hart Trophy winner adding a new wrinkle to his game as he matures in the NHL? Probably a little bit of both.

"I think the teams are tougher on him this year, too; it's always two guys on him. I think that's why," Backstrom said. "He has good vision, he sees guys coming on him and he's passing away the puck instead of just [taking the shot]. I think that's the difference. We're trying to help him as much as we can out there, too."

Ovechkin concurred: "I think right now they put one guy in front of me, Backie, Sasha or Greenie. It doesn't matter where we are; one guy is always there. We just have to use it and go through the D and when there's one guy, two guys in front of you, make some space for different" teammates.

Players are expected to continue developing as their careers progress, and several of his contemporaries have found ways to elevate their game. This season may mark a visible transition that way in Ovechkin, who through his first five seasons in the NHL was often criticized for not passing to his teammates more.

"He's distributing" the puck, Brooks Laich said. "I think he's becoming a more complete player that way; he's using his techniques rather than just trying to force a shot all the time. It's worked out well and it's spread the offense out a little bit more."

Said Boudreau: "To me, he's becoming a better player....Not too many players can [continue to adapt]. They say Sidney [Crosby] worked on his faceoffs and to get better on his shot. Alex has done the exact same thing. Stan Mikita went from being the most penalized player to winning the Lady Byng. Offhand, there's not a lot of guys that can change what they do."

By Katie Carrera  | December 2, 2010; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin  
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Next: Michal Neuvirth to start, Tom Poti out against Stars

Comments

Anyone hear anything after the game about Poti and why he wasn't on the bench in the 3rd? Figure it's the groin again.....but would like to hear for sure.

Looks like the trade came just in the nick of time.

Posted by: NatyPete | December 2, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Where does Ovie rank in terms of shots taken? In previous years he's lead by a large margin.

Posted by: hook99 | December 2, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Where does Ovie rank in terms of shots taken? In previous years he's lead by a large margin.

Posted by: hook99 | December 2, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but Ovie isn't making 9 million plus to dish out assists.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 2, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

IMHO, even though "Movember" is over, the 'staches should stay--especially Erskine's--they have some kind of mysterious hockey powers, methinks.

Thoughts, anyone?

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 2, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

No, Ovie isn't making 9 mil to dish out assists. He's making 9 mil to help his team win the Stanley Cup. If that requires he sub in as goalie, so be it!

Posted by: AADCDERM | December 2, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I really don't see that much difference in his game. He isn't going to rack up assists at the exact same pace over every stretch of games. It just happens that he has a handful more of assists than his career pace right now.

Having said that, I think the media running with this story, largely because he isn't scoring goals right now, is a positive reinforcement for him. Hearing the praise for "becoming a more complete player", even if it isn't true, is probably a good thing and may help make it true over time.

And he still needs to improve a lot when it comes to his defensive awareness, positioning and play off the puck.

And despite this little media blitz, there is still a lot of improvement he needs to make as far as decision-making with the puck, whether it's smarter passes or more of a willingness to work along the boards on the forecheck instead of always trying to pass/shoot/skate through bodies and sticks.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 2, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

In that last sentence, replace "always" with "too often."

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 2, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Thank God somebody else realized and commented on the evolution of Ovechkin's game in 2010.

Ovechkin is not only becoming a facilitator for the other talented forwards on the team, he is also taking fewer penalties and has limited his physical play from last year to ensure he doesn't wear down.

The other noticeable difference is that both Ovechkin and Semin are getting back on defense.

Ovechkin has saved a couple of 3-2 breaks this season with his skating ability.

Semin has as well and who could have guessed that Semin would be counted on to contribute on the penalty kill?

One game against Carolina, the Caps were on the PK and Semin had the puck and ragged it for about 20-25 seconds while 2-3 Hurricanes were trying to wrestle it from him in their own zone.

Would he have done that 3 years ago?

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | December 2, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Ovie is not scoring...

I don't give a damn, for one simple reason: He's still getting more than a point per game.

His projected ppg this year is 1.27, that's 7th all-time against other star's career numbers. His career number is 1.33, so one could say he's below average, but when your career average puts you 6th all-time, is 7th for the season really a slump?

I do not personally care if he scores another goal all season, so long as he keeps drawing defenders and making amazing passes instead of amazing goals.

He's on pace for another 100+ point season. His goals scored has decreased each of the past three years, but his assists have gone up by about the same number. If he doesn't crack 50 goals, but makes 60-70 assists...

Posted by: ey22314 | December 2, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Also, while he ended up getting hurt, did people here see the great play Poti made breaking up a 3-on-1 in the 2nd period.

He played great positional defense, forcing the offesnive player to go where he wanted him to go, and then read the play perfectly when he attacked at the moment the offensive player moved the puck and didn't have it on his stick(so no ability to get away from the poke check).

It's amazing, a great defensive play was made using sound positioning and defensive awareness. It is those two attributes that are the most important for a defenseman as those attributes leads to consistent good play.

Good job Poti!

Posted by: sgm3 | December 2, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

sgm3: Of course it wasn't noticed. Just like at Verizon center, minor mistakes are cussed at from the stands, but nice plays are just not noticed or acknowledged. No matter how well Poti plays in a game those that dislike him will focus on a couple of mishaps and blow them out of proportion.

Also, I am still shocked that TMAC had nothing but negativity towards Ovie's play and this article. He/she is always so positive. TMAC, go ahead and tell me how little I know about hockey now.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

seeing ovi distributing the puck now is really a good thing. but it's really obvious that he lost a little bit of his touch to shoot, no timing, not as hard and accurate as before. i really believe that he has to continue to practice even if he knows he's the best in the world. by doing other things like assist and defense is really making him a more complete player, but he should not forget that he's known as the best sniper first, so he should continue to do that. go caps!

Posted by: capsfan2007 | December 2, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

As for Ovi: the rest of the League is slowly but surely getting the following message:

You can't stop the Caps simply by putting 2, 3, 4 guys on Ovechkin; you also have to respect the abilities of guys like Bäckis, Семйн, MoJo, and yes, even Knubs and Brooksy to find the twine...or you will get burned.

So don't worry too much, folks; the goals will come, and as other teams adjust to more balanced coverage schemes in an attempt to prevent the supporting cast from scoring, Ovi's once-in-a-generation talent and singular drive will shine through. Even if it is too late for him to capture the Richard or Art Ross Trophies, I still believe he'll end up in the top 4 in goals and the top 3 in overall points.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 2, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

He also needs to cut down on what I would call the "high risk" plays. I sort of touched on that in the prev. post but to elaborate, he needs to understand that bad decisions with and without the puck in o-zone can lead to the other team transitioning the other way on an oddman rush. This is true both at even-strength and the PP.

Whether it's an ill-advised pass or attempt to skate through traffic or lunging for a puck when an opponent has it and taking himself out of position defensively, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of decision-making, reading the play and overall positional awareness.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 2, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Another huge game from Johnny Erskine. For those who'd like to see him benched in favor of Shultz, Alzner, Poti, or Hannan consider his stats amongst our D: 1st in hits, blocked shots (might be 2nd?), fights, pims.....T-2nd in goals and gwg....3rd in points....4th in +/- (better than ALzner)despite playing w/Sloan, Fahey, Poti all year...all this playing 7-9 minutes less than everyone else

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 2, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

-Good article on Flash;
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=545117
-Hannan is a great addition to the team, especially when all it cost was shedding some of the glut at the top-6 forward position we had anyway.

@sgm

Yes, a great play by Poti. But, although he started the rewind in the first place, I think some credit needs to be given to Semin who made a great last-ditch effort to get his stick no the puck before the outlet got out, making the entry for the Blues not so crisp.

Re; Ovi evolution

I think it's obvious just watching him that Ovechkin has adjusted his game. I mean, he has too. His patented shot off the rush through the defender's legs is wearing off. His dekes seem to not work so much anymore either.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | December 2, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone bored double check...Jonathan posted last night we snapped a Blues 12 game win streak over East coast teams. I could have sworn the announcers said that they went 12-0 agasint East teams last year and are 7-0 this year. I think that means we snapped a 19 game win streak, not a 12.

Loved the game last night. Was awesome to see Ovie dish it to Backs instead of forcing a tough goal. He silences 2 critics that way: 1)That Ovie is selfish and wants the goals for himself, etc 2)Ovie always pads his stats with EN goals. Suck on that b to the itches.

Also, I much prefer Caps announcers over opposing teams ones. They try to justify every call on/non-call for their team. Was a lot more biased than I feel I get from the Beninati and Laugher (or however you spell his name). They did however point out how all teams think Ovie is dangerous and teams double/triple cover him. They showed a few instances last night where this was true.

Semin had an ok night. Some mistakes, some great plays. One thing is for certain, the guy always leaves me in awe with what he can do with the puck sometimes. Man is just SICK.

2 POINT NIGHT....
RUMP SHAKERS
HUMPTY HUMP DANCERS

Word.

P.S. F Qatar...shoulda been DC in 2022.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 2, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Another huge game from Johnny Erskine. For those who'd like to see him benched in favor of Shultz, Alzner, Poti, or Hannan

_________________________

Huge Erskine fan here myself, but I imagine a rotation of Alzner and Erskine as the odd-man out. Hopefully, Sloan never has to see another game this season and everyone stays healthy. Hannan and Poti should definitely play every single game... Schultz could sit.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | December 2, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"Spreading out the offense?" Sounds like Obama, sounds like socialism. I wouldn't put that past a guy who grew up in Soviet Russia. Now if he'd only spread around some of that money...to me!

In all seriousness, if Ovy wins a Cup I don't care if he never scores another goal this season and neither should anyone else.

Posted by: laugh_riot | December 2, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Also, am I the only one that thinks Erskine should do the honorable thing and give up his jersey to Sloan...kind of like when Joshus Jackson did for the rich kid in the Mighty Ducks?

SYKE

Enjoy the hot dogs and nachos in the press box 89.

(that was for you vermontcaps) =)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 2, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

No matter how well Poti plays in a game those that dislike him will focus on a couple of mishaps and blow them out of proportion.

___________________________

I dislike Poti a lot, but he's been good in the games he's played this season.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | December 2, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Semin has always had innate anticipation skill and been terrific with his stick as far as stripping the puck away. I long felt that he had the most potential out of anybody on this team other than probably Backstrom to be a great two-way player. Backstrom is more responsible and also has that same innate ability but Semin is more athletic and uses a longer stick.

The problem has always been that he can get overzealous or frustrated and take bad penalties. That's why it was and is a risk at times to have him on the PK. We already saw it once this season where a 5-on-4 became a 5-on-3. And I think it happened once last season, too.

If I recall correctly, I also remember him intercepting a pass in the d-zone last season from I think it was Crosby and going end to end and scoring a SHG. He also scored one this season.

The keys are that he doesn't lose his cool and take bad penalties and doesn't try to get too fancy when he does get the puck. He adds a scoring threat to our PK but 99% of the time, you want to win the puck and make the simple clear. As long as he's doing those things, he can a real asset to our PK.

Similarly, when he's focused, he can be a defensive asset at even strength. I think both he and Backstrom are among the league leaders in takeaways. I haven't looked it up but I remember hearing it recently from Boudreau and elsewhere.

Posted by: tmac2yao | December 2, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

i think this stretch is good for OV. the main thing is that he is not getting frustrated and looking completely off. he is a good passer. keep it up. i think he has a challenge ahead in tweaking his scoring game. teams have figured out how to defend him and he is getting alot less open ice to work with. that said, he still needs to get into a fight! ;-)

Posted by: doughless | December 2, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

@ poguesmahone:

Dude, if a guy gets an assist, its a point. Its like a goal. It means the team scored. Ovi was a pure goal scorer. This year, when defenses collaspe on him and double team him, he is finding the open man for goals. That makes the team better.

I think we are going to see defenses adjusting again to cover the players left open by the Ovi double teams, which will create more space and opportunity to for Ovi to score goals. Its a nice problem to have. Double team him and Semin or Backstrom score. Single coverage? The he blows through them and score on his own. This is actually a sign of a maturing and unselfish player and team.

:)

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 2, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

by the way, add my name to the Lumberjack fan club. dude is killing it. keep it up, bro. seriously considering a #4 sweater for the Winter classic.

Posted by: doughless | December 2, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@tmac

I don't care what anyone has to say, given history, etc, Backstrom is one of the best two-way centers in the game. He's knocking on Datysuk's, Hossa's, Z-berg's, etc door, as entering that elite two-way forward realm. Crosby and Richards are right there as well.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | December 2, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

And I finally have my Winter Classic tickets in my hands. So stoked for it.

Posted by: ThePat | December 2, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

@SAOTI

thanks, much better than packaging him w/a pick and shipping him out :) it's getting to the point that the numbers he's putting up can't be ignored (I hope everyone took note of how he ranked compared to the others)....just because he worked his way up the NHL the hard way doesn't mean he can't hang with (and contribute more) than Shultz, Alzner, or Poti

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 2, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

So with Fleischmann gone and Sloan relegated to the press box, who is the new weak link?

My money is on Fehr. He has got to step it up. He's got the potential and had that 'breakout' year last season, but if he keeps playing like this all season I will have to consider him a new whipping boy

Posted by: PSD1 | December 2, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

The risk of playing Erskine, Schulz, and Hannan in the same game is that neither of those guys can be paired with each other as they would just be too slow. That would then require Alzner being split from Carlson(which I am not in favor of as they seem to play great together and have great chemistry).

Posted by: sgm3 | December 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

Agreed about the areas Ovie still needs to improve on. I wish he would dump and chase the puck more often... he's so strong and such a beast he's going to end up with the puck (and a better scoring chance for himself or his linemates) more often than not.

Case in point the play Laughlin telestrated last night where Ovie had 3 guys on him (and a 4th back checking) and he tried to cut to the middle for a shot and had the puck taken away. Knuble and Backstrom weren't open, so that's a spot where it would've been nice to see him dump it to the corner, and then go get it.

Posted by: chombie13 | December 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Semin=Monica

Can we at least have him record at least one decent hit/check this year?

Posted by: ey22314 | December 2, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

D lines should not be exempt from BB's experimentation.

Posted by: doughless | December 2, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Semin=Monica

Can we at least have him record at least one decent hit/check this year?

Posted by: ey22314

Aww, 2010 and you still dont have a tv in your house huh? Man, you are missing a lot, I suggest getting one and watch a game or 2.

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 2, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Pens fan, but I am impressed with Ovechkin always, and even moreso with his game rounding out.

No question he is likely still the deadliest shot in the league, but with this team, he should be elevating the play of those around him, as he's been doing, if they want to push further

Posted by: spynnal | December 2, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Boston just traded Marco Sturm to the Kings.

Posted by: ThePat | December 2, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Semin laid out a really good check last night. Backed into the Blues player just inside the caps zone, separated puck from player, corralled puck and moved up ice.

I can't recall what part of the game, but there you go ey22314.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 2, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Alex Ovechkin is playing like an average NHL player. That "hot" Tampa stick, not too good now. It's all downhill for this former superstar power forward. Alex Ovechkin IS an average NHL player, not worth his salary or hype. This article is PR fluff.

Posted by: Drudge1 | December 2, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@Drudge1

Good one!

Posted by: sgm3 | December 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I mentioned yesterday that Sturm may be getting moved(I didn't break the story, I just read it on the NHL twitter page on NHL.com), then it happens. I guess I am nostrasgm3 today.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

@Drudge1

that's rich!

Posted by: _stevo | December 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Pens fan, but I am impressed with Ovechkin always, and even moreso with his game rounding out.

No question he is likely still the deadliest shot in the league, but with this team, he should be elevating the play of those around him, as he's been doing, if they want to push further

Posted by: spynnal | December 2, 2010 12:42 PM

as a pens fans, you may not feel the same distain for the caps as most of us do for the pens. i mostly rag on crosby for two reasons. 1) he's on the pens and 2) he good

nice to have a pens fan that isn't here just to troll - you're welcome anytime

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, that average player is in the top 5 in points, AGAIN. Nothing about Ovie is average. His hits aren't average, his passes aren't average, and his presence isn't average. Ovie piling up points with more assists this season, so what. Last year's Hart trophy winner ended up earning that award through is number of assists, not goals. Looks like the Caps have dredged up a troll named Drudge1. Come on over and love to hate the Caps.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Boston just traded Marco Sturm to the Kings.

No details yet, but both @TSNBobMcKenzie and @DarrenDreger are tweeting this. If it's both of them, bet on it being legit. Waiting for details.

This is a cap move for Boston and a veteran presence move for LA, I bet.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 2, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Hannon-Erksine may be paired tonight. Boudreau also answered yesterday's question. He wants to see Hannon-Poti.

Posted by: nicety251 | December 2, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

poguesmahone

You are not a smart person.

Posted by: jcreech1 | December 2, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@kittpawz

Supposedly it was for draft picks and maybe prospects. So purely a cap move for Boston.

It seems that trading has opened now that the expensive players on LTIR are coming off and forcing their teams to move players.

The Devils will be the next team to be placed in such a predicament and maybe Vancouver too.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 2, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I could honestly care less whether Ovi scores goals or not. Ovi is making his teammates better, he's still steamrollering people (ask Sobotka), and he's still on pace for a record number of assists by a LW. He's still making things happen out there, at ES and on the PP, even if he's not getting credit for the finish. And he's doing it while getting double- and triple-teamed. If the change brings a deep playoff run and maybe a Cup to the District, then who cares who puts the pucks in the net? I'll bet my butt Ovi doesn't.

Remember, they don't ask "how" or "who", they ask "how many". If I have to pick a time for Ovi to get hot and score every time he touches the freaking puck, make it in the playoffs.

Posted by: kittypawz | December 2, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@Drudge1

that's rich!

Posted by: _stevo | December 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It was extremely revealing and quite admirable that OV gave up a chance for an empty-netter last night and passed the puck to Nicky for the goal especially in light of OV's scoring draught. There is no doubt that OV is becoming a complete player and is trying to be a great captain and team player.

Posted by: Hirsch2 | December 2, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, kittypawz has "bet her butt."

I wonder how they'd show that on the board in Las Vegas?

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 2, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

(_|_)

Or something similar. =P

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 2, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@tominsocal1

(_|_)

Or something similar. =P

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 2, 2010 1:55 PM

such a childish attempt at making your name happen :D

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk

Hmm, sounds like someone is jealous they werent fast enough to beat me to the punch. ;)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 2, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I'll tell you one beneficiary of Ovi's assists -- Brooks Laich. Brooks is starting to put together a few.

BTW, I'm not sure I've seen it stated, but Semin's pass to Backie to get Brooks' goal last night was a thing of beauty. I'm not sure whether Backstrom's feed was a pass or a shot: sort of a shass.

Posted by: Justafan | December 2, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Varly is #1 goalie and Neuvirth is #2. Varly played great last night.
Ovie passing more and shooting less just makes him more dangerous. Knuble is too slow to play on the 1st line even strength. I have no problem with him on the 1st PP unit but, he just can't keep up with 8/19 when skating 5 on 5.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 2, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

It seems that trading has opened now that the expensive players on LTIR are coming off and forcing their teams to move players.

The Devils will be the next team to be placed in such a predicament and maybe Vancouver too.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 2, 2010 1:07 PM

BXӘ! BXӘ! We Want BXӘ!

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 2, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The risk of playing Erskine, Schulz, and Hannan in the same game is that neither of those guys can be paired with each other as they would just be too slow. That would then require Alzner being split from Carlson(which I am not in favor of as they seem to play great together and have great chemistry).

Posted by: sgm3 | December 2, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

2 points if i may....why doesn't Philly have any problems w/O'Donnell and Meszaros playing together? (talk about SLOW)

Do you not want Alzner to play w/anyone other than Carlson because his weaknesses would be further exposed?? His stats are worse than Erskine's as is and he's played w/Carlson all year; what do you think ALzner's stats would be if he had to play w/Sloan and Fahey all year? Safe to assume terrible?

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 2, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Simply stated, in Crosby's Stanly Cup winning season, he finished with 33 goals and 70 assists. As of today, Ovie is projected to finish with 32 goals and 73 assists. Last year Crosby concentrated on keeping pace with Ovie's goal scoring and the Pens had a mediocre season. Ovie knows what he's doing and he knows the Cup will do more for his legacy than Richard trophies.

Posted by: perezcanning | December 2, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

perez: I don't believe for a second that Ovechkin is concentrating less on scoring goals. I believe that the league has figured out how to defense him better as a goal scorer. Remember, the second half of last season was a downer for him too goal scoring wise.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Fehr would be the weakest link on the whole Capital roster given his contract and expectations. He will be traded for a another hendrick style player with a little more scoring. Some knucklehead said OVI is average. Obviously they do not know hockey if they believe that. I do think something maybe ailing OVI. His shot seems off and he does not look as fast. He is still the most explosive in player in hockey. Did anyone see the triple team on OVI last night. Backstrom said two players on him but it sometimes is three or four guys on him. just watch more carefully. It is absurd. Must mean someone is open

Posted by: pkme | December 2, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

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