Ovechkin Not the Complete Player We Thought He Was
Ovechkin, 28, took the NHL by storm and did everything that is expected of a hockey player. He put the puck in the net, he played in all situations, he played physical, was a true teammate as when they scored a goal, he celebrated as if he did, and lastly, he seemed like a complete player.
There is no doubt that "Ovi" is still one of the most talented players in the league. As of this writing, he is first in the league in goals by a country mile with 48, is 11th in the league in points with 72, is first in the league with 22 power play goals, is second in the league with nine game-winning goals and also leads the league with 370 shots.
There is also no doubt that Ovechkin is one of the most electrifying players in the league. He has a lot of speed, he can snipe the puck, he can still dangle around opposing players and he is still one of the only guys in this league that can put the puck in the net from anywhere on the ice.
With all of that said, Ovechkin's offensive prowess is masking several flaws in his game. Are Ovechkin's flaws the main reason why the Capitals currently find themselves out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference? No, but it is certainly telling of why the Capitals have struggled this season.
At least this season, Ovechkin's game has been too one dimensional. Yes, he can put the puck in the net and create scoring opportunities and while those are both extremely important tools to have, there is more to the game than just scoring goals.
More often than not this season, one could find Ovechkin hanging around the opposing team's offensive zone waiting for the puck. While that is obviously a good way to get a breakaway chance or be involved in odd man rushes, it is also a way to create scoring opportunities going the other way.
This leads us to Ovechkin's next flaw and that is his play on the defensive side of the puck. In Ovechkin's first several seasons in the league, he was a player that would backcheck like crazy, break up plays in the defensive zone and be a smart positional player without the puck.
That has not been the case for Ovechkin this season. In fact, Ovechkin's has the league's worst plus/minus at -36, which shows that he has been on the ice for a ton of goals against.