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Posted at 7:28 AM ET, 12/27/2010

Alex Ovechkin's strong game against the Hurricanes

By Katie Carrera
Morning Roundup

Perhaps one of the biggest things to come out of Sunday night's 3-2 win over Carolina for the Capitals was that it was a strong game for Alex Ovechkin. Not only did he snap his latest goal-scoring drought at eight games (he had a nine-game stretch without a goal from Nov. 17 to Dec. 2) but he created plays and appeared to have a little more spring in his step.

Ovechkin's goal was more opportunistic than highlight-reel worthy when the puck bounced off a body in front of the Carolina net and directly to him, but unlike many chances recently he didn't miss, have a stick break or have the puck roll of his stick. The shot connected and beat Cam Ward as he went across the goal mouth.

Equally impressive though was the hop in Ovechkin's stride when he snared a loose puck in the middle of the second period to help create a rush that would lead to David Steckel's goal that put Washington up 2-1. That's the sort of energy and look that opponents talk about when discussing Ovechkin, that head of steam and seeming undeniable energy that in this case just overwhelmed Jamie McBain who was out late on a shift.

Over the past month, various players and Coach Bruce Boudreau have suggested that it is only a matter of time for Ovechkin to start filling the nets and racking up the point totals. Perhaps a strong all around game against the Hurricanes, finishing with a game-high eight shots (only two missed attempts and three blocked), is the first step in that direction.

FROM THE POST
Check out the recap from the Capitals' 3-2 win over the Hurricanes last night.

AROUND THE WEB
Ted Leonsis on the 'compelling event' that is the Winter Classic. (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

RMNB with a breakdown of the Caps' prospects playing in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

Also from RMNB, a lengthy translated interview by prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov with Sport Express.

By Katie Carrera  | December 27, 2010; 7:28 AM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Morning Roundup  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Caps beat Hurricanes 3-2, Mathieu Perreault suffers a broken nose
Next: Monday morning practice update

Comments

The aspect of BigBaby's system that most concerns me is the lack of possession time in the other team's zone. More often than not, the Caps fire off an unscreened shot on the rush and the rebound is picked up by the opponent for an oddman rush. Another aspect of the system clearly exploited in the losing streak is that teams get a lot of time in the Caps zone, especially against the Caps top unit. If the puck is down low in the Caps zone, of course, OV and Backis cannot score. The Caps will get their share of wins against non-playoff teams, but this system against Boston, Philthy, and Pissburgh will look like the clownshoes BB wears.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 27, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Man, that was a lot of blood on the ice from MP. No game suspensions for Gleason? I could use an explanation from someone who knows the rules better than I do about suspensions.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 27, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I don't foresee any suspensions coming out of it. He drew a lot of blood, but it wasn't a dirty hit. The blood got us a 5 minute major/misconduct, but not necessarily the hit.

Posted by: Justafan | December 27, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

@Justafan

Unless the league determines it to be a shot to the head. But they probably won't.

Posted by: sgm3 | December 27, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

It would be nice if the 12 & 13 year old kids would stay off this site.

Posted by: sidehillman | December 27, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yeah @sgm, it won't be. He lifted his elbow slightly, but it wasn't a shot to the head and it wasn't a blindside hit. I doubt it was worthy of the major it got.

Posted by: Justafan | December 27, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

It's worth remembering the Gleason hit when folks start claiming we get reamed by the refs. From a penalty being called at all (let alone a game misconduct on their best D), to a no call on Hendricks standing up for Matty, we were handed a gift by the refs.

Varly looked very sharp last night. Glad we've got a goalie battle. Any for all Carolina's puck possession in the third, we managed to give them all but 7 shots. Caps came out sloppy that period but I thought they pulled it together quite well to deny the Canes. When you figure we were coming off the emotional Pens game, on the road, after a two day league-mandated rest, all signs would point to a struggle but we took it.

Posted by: Justafan | December 27, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"It's worth remembering the Gleason hit when folks start claiming we get reamed by the refs. From a penalty being called at all (let alone a game misconduct on their best D), to a no call on Hendricks standing up for Matty, we were handed a gift by the refs."

@Justafan

I thought they gave Hendricks a 2-minute roughing call for standing up for MP?

Posted by: sgm3 | December 27, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"...to a no call on Hendricks standing up for Matty, we were handed a gift by the refs."

Hendricks got 2 minutes. That's why we only had a 3-minute power play.

"Unless the league determines it to be a shot to the head. But they probably won't."

See Ovechkin's suspension after hitting Gleason. It doesn't have to be a hit to the head to be a dirty hit.

Posted by: sabredc | December 27, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I thought the hit was dirty...he had a lifting motion in his shoulder and elbow...had he just had a straight hit it would not have done so much damage.

Posted by: capscoach | December 27, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

my bad -- Hendricks went to the box.

My point's the same -- I don't think that was a game misconduct hit, and arguably not a penalty.

Posted by: Justafan | December 27, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know why Fehr was the healthy scratch? I mean, I know someone's gotta sit but he had started to look pretty good with Ovie, Backstrom in the Penguins game and before the family exit.

He's gotta step up to join the big 6

Posted by: SiberianTiger1 | December 27, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I didn't think it was the dirtiest of hits either,

Posted by: griz0615 | December 27, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Good game - Gleason was a cheap shot - elbow came up as MP tried to jump around the check. If that were Ovi - the fans and league would have been calling for his head.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | December 27, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I didn't think it was the dirtiest of hits either, but it broke his visor. I would say the visor is in the general area of the head, no?

Posted by: griz0615 | December 27, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

his broken stick broke his visor...the hit was fine. I wouldn't even call it a penalty

Posted by: _stevo | December 27, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The stick didn't break anything. The hit broke the visor and the broken visor cut his nose. Like I said, I didn't think it was a dirty hit either, but the league said it is going to be taking a tougher stance on hits up high, and this is one that will get looked at. My guess is no supplemental discipline.

Posted by: griz0615 | December 27, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

It looked like to me the elbow came up...elbowing is a penalty last I checked (and the the head no less). He lifted the elbow to connect, ergo dirty. Hope he gets a game or 2.

Calling the penalty/misconduct a gift is comical to me. And as someone else stated, had this been Ovie throwing that hit, we would be seeing a multiple game suspension for sure without a doubt (granted if he did the exact same hit, I'd say deservingly so).

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | December 27, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"It was a contest spurned(sic.) by strong even-strength play and another good showing by the penalty kill, which went a perfect 4 for 4 and held the Hurricanes to only two shots when they were on the man-advantage."


@Katie:


Spurned:

–verb (used with object)
1. rejected with disdain; scorned.
2. treated with contempt; despised.
3. kicked or trampled with the foot.


Spurred:

-verb (used with object):
2. Goaded, impelled, or urged, as to action, speed, or achievement; incited or urged on.


Just saying.

Good job overall, though.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Enough with the "BigBaby" this and "BB Must Go NOW" that, already.

If there's one thing you can count on, it's that there are basically two kinds of coaches in/aroud the NHL:

1) Those who get fired and
2) Those who are (eventually) going to get fired.

Guys like Ruff in Buffalo and Babcock in Detroit are legendary mutants, hence the exceptions.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I watched the Gleason hit at least 10 times on the Carolina feed last night. NO doubt in my mind the hit was clean. Gleason hit him with his shoulder, elbow down and did not take any extra strides to support a charging call. Gleason can't help the fact that MP is 5'8" at best which is level with his shoulder. If he 'came up' with the shoulder he would have missed MP's head.

Horrible call and a stupid penalty by Hendricks. Great divisional win, plus OV potted a goal (finally)!

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Good road win against a divisional opponent, Varly played well. Here's to hoping MP heals quickly and Ovi builds on last night and tears it up....GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 27, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Dirty hit to the head on MP by Gleason. He will be suspended no doubt.

Go Caps

Posted by: DCSportsfanatic1 | December 27, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

DCSportsfanatic1

Care to wager on that? I can assure you when the refs saw the replay they cringed at their call.

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the way it went down is the only way it could and should. Much as you didn't see it, it was there and everyone else did. He did lift his shoulder and elbow, it did make contact with the visor, it did break the visor and cause blood and he got the proper penalty. i m sure noone cringed, in fact I bet they felt justified they made the right call. There will be no further discipline because none is warranted. he did not follow through and did not swing with malice. it was a regular penalty that turned into a major because of the blood. Now we can debate whether it should be an automatic major for blood, and I personally think that is a dumb rule, but it was the right call.

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