Last night (That would be Thursday night with the 8 hour difference) in Luzhinki, Moscow, Russia, Alex Ovechkin returned to a place he used to call home. He started off his season right, picking up an assist to lead Dynamo Moscow to a 7-2 win over Dinamo Minsk. He started off slow, which is understandable because he was getting used to his brand new linemates. He looked a lot stronger after the first period. In the second period, he set up a flawless screen in front of the net which allowed his teammate to score on what was basically an empty net goal. I was a bit concerned that Ovechkin’s reckless style of play might be toned down while in the KHL, but about midway through the second period, my doubts disappeared as Ovi did one of his signature moves: He laid out an opposing player at mid ice to force a turnover. Here’s a video of it:
For the first two periods, Ovechkin was on ice for the powerplays, but he only set up in front of the net. During the second intermission, Dynamo head coach Oleg Znarok made a bold decision: He decided to move Ovechkin to the point, which is his more natural powerplay position. The reward was a beautiful goal scored off a rebound by an Ovechkin shot from the blue line.
Overall, I think Ovechkin had a great night. He is going to have an adjustment period because he is still developing chemistry with his new teammates. With that said, Ovechkin has enough talent that he’s going to make an impact on every game regardless, and he proved that last night. He finished with an assist, seven shots, at least 2 hits (I counted four but everyone defines hits differently), and he led all Dynamo Moscow forwards with 17 minutes and 38 seconds of ice time.
On Sunday, Dynamo Moscow will play SKA St. Petersburg. One notable player for SKA St. Petersburg is Ovechkin’s buddy Ilya Kovalchuck. The game will be at 17:00 in Moscow, or 9:00 AM Eastern Standard Time.