2011-2012 Washington Capitals Player Profile: Alex Ovechkin
When you think of the Washington Capitals, you think of one person: Alex Ovechkin. He is the Capitals’ captain, and for better or for worse, the team tends to mirror his
intense all-out personality.
Ovechkin was drafted by the Capitals with the first overall pick in 2004. He officially joined the Capitals in 2005, a year later than planned thanks to the NHL lockout. From day one, he showed that he was worth all the hype. His accolades include:
- 2005-2006 Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie Of The Year)
- First Team All-NHL 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
- Sporting News NHL Player Of The Year 2008, 2009
- 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 All-Star selection
- Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP) 2008, 2009
- Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (top goal scorer) 2008, 2009
- Art Ross Trophy (NHL points leader) 2008 (112 points)
As you can see, Ovechkin has quite the resume. He put an exclamation point on his resume in January of 2010 when he was became the team captain for the Capitals.
Even though Ovechkin is definitely one of the best goal scorers in the world, I wouldn’t classify him as a sniper. I would classify him as a power forward. If you’ve ever seen him play, he’s extremely physical. With his 6’3″ 225 pound frame, not only can he dish out the big hits, but he can take them as well. Since he became captain, Ovechkin has taken a different approach to his contributions on offense. Before, he was almost a pure shooter. Since then, he is focused more on spreading the puck around and drawing double teams. It might affect his stats, but he helps everyone around him by drawing that extra attention. As one of Ovechkin’s harshest critics before this sudden change, it’s been wonderful to see Ovechkin turn into a true captain. He’s been working harder at practices and he rarely takes a day off.
Ovechkin is also an incredibly competitive player. He’s obsessed with winning, and absolutely hates losing. Sometimes, this can cause a conflict of interest with Bruce Boudreau. Ovechkin always wants to be on the ice, but Boudreau has to do what’s best not just for Ovechkin, but the team as well. I believe the media makes way too much of it when they appear to disagree on something. It’s not like they hate each other, they have a deep respect for each other. They’re just two extremely competitive guys who both want to win.
Ovechkin is not without fault. His leadership has been called into question due to the Capitals’ inability to live up to their full potential in the postseason and win a Stanley Cup. That criticism might be justified, but he’s still young. Even Michael Jordan took a while to start winning championships. He also has a tendency to be a bit reckless with his style of play. He’s going to have to make adjustments to his style of play as he gets older if he wants to prolong his NHL career. He still has a tendency to be a bit selfish with the puck, but he has good intentions and he’s improving in that area. Ovechkin also tends to be extremely hard on himself. He just needs to realize that even if he’s not getting points, he’s still being productive in other ways.
For Alex Ovechkin’s career stats, click here.