Alex Ovechkin led the Washington Capitals with 49 goals in the regular season, a strong bounce-back from a year ago, but once the puck drops on playoff hockey those numbers are erased. After a quiet Game 1 that saw Ovechkin register just four shots in 25:42 minutes of action, he looks to bounce back in Game 2.
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“I didn’t think he had a big impact on the game. Ovechkin is a top player for us so he has to have an impact and we were actually talking about that. He felt he could impact the game a lot more,” Barry Trotz told the media after Sunday’s morning skate. “When he does, you know the results so just get skating again. To me, when he’s skating and really moving, he’s dangerous. He’s dangerous physically, dangerous offensively and he has a bigger impact.”
A lot of pundits and non Capitals fans claim that Ovechkin doesn’t do anything in the playoffs. That’s false. Ovechkin has registered 90 points with 46 goals and 44 assists in 98 career playoff games. Among Capitals players past and present, he’s ranked first in playoff points and goals. In addition, Ovechkin has 0.47 goals per game in playoff action which ranks him fifth among active NHL players with a minimum of 20 playoff games played.
Trailing 1-0 in a series after dropping the first game at home is a scenario no team ever wants to be in. Blowing a 2-0 lead and a 3-2 lead late in the game is always a tough thing to bounce back from. Given the bad history of the past, a lot of Caps fans have already started to panic but not the captain of the Capitals.
“There’s no panic. We understand it’s not gonna be easy… When we get the lead we have to have a killer instinct, don’t make bad decisions and don’t take bad penalties,” said Ovechkin.
If the Capitals have that “killer instinct” that Ovechkin talks about and plays smart, they can head to Columbus with the series knotted at one.
By Michael Marzzacco