Ovechkin is Back in Every Way

12/11/13 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Dec 10, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrates with Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer (20) after scoring the game-tying goal in the final 32 seconds against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 6-5 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsWhile Tampa Bay Lightning goal-scoring machine Steven Stamkos is out with an injury, another goal-scoring monster has stepped in and has played like the player he was in his first few years in the NHL when pucks were going in left and right.

Washington Capitals' franchise forward Alex Ovechkin is back to his goal scoring ways and is doing so with relative ease this season. After last night's four goal performance against the Lightning, Ovechkin leads the league in goals with 26 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Prior to last year's shortened season, many wondered what was going on with Ovechkin. He was not producing at the same rate he was in his first few years in the league and simply did not look like the same player.

That clearly changed last season and has continued into this season. Last year, Ovechkin led the league in goals with 32 and has carried his goal-scoring prowess into this season.

There are several reasons why Ovechkin is back to being himself. For starters, he is playing with an abundance of confidence.

When Ovechkin is confident, there might not be a better goal scorer in the league than him. A confident Ovechkin drives hard to the net, is not afraid to shoot the puck, is a threat to score from any area on the ice and is a player that when he has the puck on his stick, he knows the great things he can do with it.

Secondly, team head coach Adam Oates has made an effort to cater the team's system to Ovechkin's style of play and has put Ovechkin in the right areas to succeed. Oates, a Hockey Hall of Famer who was a terrific point producer, understands the offensive game and understands what he needs to do to get Ovechkin's game going in the right direction.

Another reason Ovechkin is finding the back of the net so much is because Oates put Ovechkin at right wing, something that has
changed his game in a big way. Instead of coming down the left side and cutting to the middle, a move the whole league knows by now, Ovechkin now comes down the right and can shoot the puck from his natural side.

Ovechkin is also succeeding this season because he is not afraid to shoot the puck. As of this writing, Ovechkin is first in the league with 156 shots and if one is going to take that many shots with his Ovechkin's kind of ability, a bunch are bound to find the back of the net like they have this season.

Lastly, Ovechkin is back to being himself because it is clear that he is having fun playing the game again. The goal celebrations are back, the smile has returned to Ovechkin's face and as a result, Ovechkin's game is once again among the best in the league.

With Ovechkin back to being the game's best goal-scorer, all is right in the NHL again.
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