Alex Ovechkin Changed-up Training During 2023 Off-season

In recent seasons, the Washington Capitals have been used to their offseason beginning in late April, early May and even June. However, the Capitals missed the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons in their 2023-24 campaign, which forced their summer to begin at the beginning of April.

 While there was disappointment in the locker room about not having the opportunity to compete for another Stanley Cup, the Caps took advantage of the longer summer to recover from an injury riddled season.

Alex Ovechkin in particular made use of the extended offseason. The Capitals captain battled injuries down the stretch, which was odd for him considering how durable he’s been throughout his 19-year NHL career. He missed nine games last season.

“Training wise I did some things differently, but the most important thing was I have to recover my body from what I had last year,” Ovechkin said on the first day of training camp.

“If you can skate, you can do something you want to play, but sometimes it’s kind of like you can do certain things on the ice off the ice as well. So, try to do your best to come back. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t.”

Ovechkin had 75 points (42 goals, 33 assists) in 73 games last year and had numerous milestones along the way. He became the third player in NHL history to score 800 goals and passed Gordie Howe for second-most goals all time. But that comes second fiddle to last season’s failure. 

“I don’t think it sits well with him that we missed the playoffs,” president of hockey operations and general manager Brian MacLellan said. “He didn’t have fun down the stretch last year. He wants to win, he wants to compete, he wants to be at the highest level. He’s gonna do what he can do to help us get there.”

The 38-year-old Russian wants his team to get out to a faster start, especially now that he is healthy along with most of the core. 

“Obviously, when you have lots of injuries, guys came from the injuries, you have almost four months to get ready. get your body ready for the season [and] for training camp,” Ovechkin said. “You have to be sharper just at the beginning of the year because those points we lost when the season started cost us. 20 games left and you try to catch the different guys, different teams who are ahead of you.”

Ovechkin and the Capitals kick off the season on Friday, Oct. 13 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena.

By Jacob Cheris

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Alex Ovechkin Changed-up Training During 2023 Off-season

  1. andrew777dc says:

    Didn’t he play 73 games last season, not 75? Missing 9, as you wrote.

  2. Dave says:

    Ovi “battled injuries down the stretch, which was odd for him considering how durable he’s been throughout his 19-year NHL career”

    My sense is that Ovi has been banged up plenty over the years. How many times have we seen him stay down, then slowly get back up, obviously favoring a knee or showing signs of a groin injury? The difference is that he’s usually right back out there. I don’t think his durability is from avoiding injuries as much as being so iron-willed that he just plays through them

  3. Anonymous says:

    How’d they miss the playoffs for the 23-34 season already? 🤔🤔

Leave a Reply