Friday, October 24, 2008

Ovechkin's Slow Start

Well, it's taken seven games for the "what's wrong with Alex?" columns to start. Ken Campbell chimes in with his thoughts:

"Ovechkin is undoubtedly the most elite physical player in the NHL. Perhaps he is too focused on playing a rugged game and is looking for the big hit too much. With 22 hits in seven games thus far, Ovechkin is on pace for 258, which would be the fourth-highest total among forwards since the NHL began tracking hit totals."

Interesting theory, Kenny Boy, and it certainly is one to which someone who only watched the Pens game might subscribe. But Ovechkin had 220 hits last year - is an increase of less than half a hit per game really an indication that Alex is "too focused on playing a rugged game and is looking for the big hit too much"?

My thoughts in six words or less? He's trying to do too much. But given the way that Nicklas Backstrom and Chris Clark have been playing as his linemates, can you blame him?

Bonus (and more important) thought: Don't worry about Ovi. He'll be fine.

14 comments:

Sombrero Guy said...

He's trying to do too much, he's not getting any help, and he tries the same move on the rush every single time and D-men are looking for it now. And yes, he will be fine.

Dixie Normis said...

Agreed. We're less than 10 games into the season. He (along with everyone else who's currently struggling) will pick it up. And his hits are pretty entertaining.

Vi said...

Yeah, I'm inclined to think the same thing. Ovie is frustrated and in a nice little rut, sure, but once he manages to sneak a few into the net he'll be fine. He's just gotta get his magic back, so to speak.

That said, I'm enjoying watching Ovechkin-the-headhunter until that happens.

b.orr4 said...

This is nothing new for Alex. Last year he had at least two or three five game stretches where he didn't score a goal. Once he scores one, he'll go on a tear and rip off a series of mutliple goal games. He's the least of our worries.

DrinkingPartner said...

I wish that Fehr would get put on that line with Ovie until Kozlov gets back -- he's easily the next most-comparable-player to Kozlov, in that he's big and can put the puck on the net. Plus, i think that he would play up to Ovie, as opposed to be overshadowed by Ovie, which Clark clearly is, and the way Flash would be.

But, for his mental health, and ours, here's to him breaking his slump sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about Ovie?? Overstatement of the season.

We do have to worry. If he doesnt start clicking then the rest of the team will strugggle. We can't rely on Semin to carry the load. He's not that kind of player. He's not an Ovechkin, he's not a Malkin, he's not a Crosby nor is he a Heatley, Spezza, Alfredsson, Datysuk, Zetterberg -- the list goes on.

We need our best player to play his best on majority of the games. Not all of them, sure. But we need our best player playing is best as much as possible.

And he's far from that. Far, far from it.

Hazardous said...

To say Semin isn't a [insert decent player except heatley-the-murderer here] is bogus. He's easily as good or better than those guys. As far as talent goes, I have said, since we got him, that Semin's our best player. He's not nearly the caliber of Ovechkin due to sheer hustle and physical play, but stick handling/puck control, shot, all that sort of thing, he's better than Ovechkin is. I wouldn't say it's right to expect ANYONE to carry the load, regardless of who you name.

Anonymous said...

i think we should put semin up on his line for a couple of shifts to see if that gets him a little more room out there. teams know semin is the hotter hand right now so maybe they will hesitate to swarm to ovie right away. it's worked with crosby/malkin on the same line and we know ovie/semin can play together, so maybe just do this till ovie gets some goals and his confidence back.

Dan said...

If you think he's not trying to do too much, just re-watch that point one-timer whiff turned diving stab at the puck to prevent a breakaway in the 3rd period last night. I'm no world class player, but that pass was no good for a one-timer...

That being said, as I commented in the roundup, I think last night he was playing better than he has much of the season.

-d

Brian said...

Ovi needs someone who can put the puck on his tape. Every game I see, it looks like the puck bounces to him like a superball. By the time he corrals it, the D is all over him. As for a right winger, I have been asking myself "Who's on the other wing?" almost every game. Maybe it's just me, but I don't "see" Clark or Fehr on the ice much.

Fedorov looked tired last night. In fact, someone comments on an earlier post that there was no jump. It looks like every team plays against the Caps like it's a playoff game and the Caps haven't figured it out yet.

this space for rent said...

Brian, would suggest that maybe that's because the Caps are considered good and teams know that if they don't bring their A game, they'll get stomped.

DMG said...

To say Semin isn't a [insert decent player except heatley-the-murderer here] is bogus. He's easily as good or better than those guys. As far as talent goes, I have said, since we got him, that Semin's our best player. He's not nearly the caliber of Ovechkin due to sheer hustle and physical play, but stick handling/puck control, shot, all that sort of thing, he's better than Ovechkin is.

The thing is, what matters is production in the offensive end and stopping the other team in the defensive end. Does Semin have a better shot, better hands, etc than Jarome Iginla? Yeah, but Iginla is a much, much better player. There are a lot of factors that go into the overall quality of an NHL player besides how they'd do in a skills competition.

And Heatley isn't a murderer. An idiot, sure, but a murderer, no.

b.orr4 said...

Heatley was convicted of vehicular homcide, so technically and in reality, he did commit murder.
From the Toronto Star:
"Heatley was charged with vehicular homicide(also called murder) as a result of the crash. He pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide(murder), driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain a lane, and speeding."

DMG said...

I stand corrected.