Alexander Ovechkin

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Alex Ovechkin reflects on a 'hard year' and trying different things in upcoming season

Alex Ovechkin reflects on a 'hard year' and trying different things in upcoming season

It's something all Capitals fans and players want to forget about, losing to the Penguins in the playoffs ... again. 

Very few Capitals have had to deal with the pain of this for so long as much as Alex Ovechkin. 

The Capitals have qualified for the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. Ovechkin will go down in history as one of the greatest hockey players of all time, we all know that. But we also know that he and the Capitals have yet to hoist a Stanley Cup. 

On Friday Ovechkin spoke with the Sports Junkies about moving on from their playoff loss and improving as a player.

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"Obviously, sometimes you have a good season and sometimes you have a bad season, Ovechkin said. "It depends what bad season means for you. Sometimes 30 goals is a bad season, sometimes 50 goals is a good season. Last year we don't get success as a team and as professional it's all about us."

"You have to put your own goals a little bit backwards. We put everything on the table last year and it was hard year, I would say. We lose, we didn't get success as a team." 

Something that has been very noticeable during Caps training camp is a much slimmer Ovi

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The 32-year old has received criticism in the past about his weight and play. Speaking with the Junkies, Ovechkin said that in the upcoming season, he's ready to try new things when it comes to his personal game.

"I don't want to talk about my personal game, but hopefully this year is going to be different and I'm going to try to do different stuff."

Whatever this "different stuff" may be, we hope it gets "The Great 8" one step closer to hoisting the Stanley Cup.

YOU CAN WATCH OVECHKIN'S FULL INTERVIEW IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.

 

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VIDEO: Alex Ovechkin took off his shirt and line danced at his wedding

VIDEO: Alex Ovechkin took off his shirt and line danced at his wedding

Nothing says "Happily Ever After" like taking off your shirt and line dancing with your bros in front of a giant disco ball. Right?

Ovechkin and Nastya Ovechkina celebrated wedded bliss yesterday with a massive celebration outside Moscow. 

The festivities included crystal candelabras, walls of roses and a confetti cannon, among other extravegances most of us can only dream of. 

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But amid a sea of pink rose petals, Ovi stayed very, very true to himself. Here's a video of the Capitals captain, shirtless and still missing his front tooth, dancing what looks like the can-can at his wedding. 

Look at the air on those high kicks! He also starts singing (or rapping?) because millionaire superstars can do anything they want anywhere they want. 

The only question is whether this performance will make it into the wedding video. 

Update 5:30 p.m.: It keeps getting better – The Washington Post reports that he's singing the song "Rasputin" by Boney M. Get it, Ovi!

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Who's hot and who's not?: Oshie is crushing it while Ovechkin searches for scoring touch

Who's hot and who's not?: Oshie is crushing it while Ovechkin searches for scoring touch

Once a week this season, we're taking a closer look at the numbers and pointing out a few trends that every Capitals fan should know about.

Hot

T.J. Oshie

In his last 11 games, Oshie has seven goals and five assists. Since Jan. 1, in fact, the first line winger is the Caps’ leading goal scorer with 14. That’s two more than anyone else on the team…and Oshie missed six games during that stretch. With one more goal, Oshie will match his career high of 26, which he set last season. And the timing couldn’t be better for the 30-year-old, who is setting himself up for a big free agent contract this offseason. “Every player handles it differently,” Coach Barry Trotz said of contract year pressure. “Some players have career years on those years. Some players wilt under that pressure. He’s real focused. He’s having an exceptional year.”    

Nicklas Backstrom

Backstrom leads the Caps in points with 67 (21 goals, 46 assists) in 65 games. And he's been red hot the past 15 contests. During that span, the 29-year-old center has eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points—seven more than any of his teammates in that timeframe. Backstrom also logged seven shots against the Stars. He hasn’t taken seven shots in a game since 2013. So, yeah, he’s feeling it.

Penalty kill

The Caps’ penalty kill has risen to fourth (tie) entering Wednesday’s game with an effectiveness rate of 85.0 percent. Over the past 10 games, the Jay Beagle-and Karl Alzner-led unit has thwarted 25 of 28 shorthanded situations. This, of course, is a good thing for a team that’s got a penchant for taking minor penalties. In fact, since Dec. 31, the Caps have been assessed 124 minors. The next team is Tampa Bay with 106.

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Cold

Alex Ovechkin

Ovechkin has not scored a goal at even strength since Jan. 31—a span of 15 games—and has no goals in the Caps’ last seven contests. Overall, the 31-year-old has 27 goals (two more than Oshie) and is on pace for 34. Ovechkin had 50 or more each of the last three seasons. Asked about the downturn this week, Trotz said he’s confident his captain will get hot. “Early in that [slump], I don’t think he was getting very many chances,” Trotz said. “I think he’s working better for those chances [now]. He’s going to score, I’m pretty sure about that. …He’ll get back on track and get hot here. It’s tightening up now [so] you have to work for your goals, you have to work for your space.”

Goals per game since the bye

From Jan. 3 - Feb. 11, a span of 20 games, the Caps boasted the best offense in the NHL, scoring a total of 93 goals (4.65 per game). Then they had a six-day bye week. Since returning, they’ve scored 20 goals in nine games (2.22 per game). Sure, they’ve played a few desperate teams that adopted a, shall we say, defensive posture. (Flyers and Devils, I’m looking at you.) Still, it’s time for Ovechkin and Co. to bear down and get the “snipe” back in their game, as Trotz is fond of saying.  

Recent first periods

Entering Wednesday’s games, the Caps were tied with the Maple Leafs for the most first period goals (67) in the NHL. That trend, however, has been slowing as of late. In fact, in the nine games since the bye, they’ve come up empty in the first period six times. “We haven’t dominated,” Trotz said. “It was a sort of a mindset [prior to the hiatus]. We came out with a lot of juice and jumped on teams. And lately, we just haven’t. We haven't come out with that, ‘Let’s jump on you early and not give you a chance to get off the mat.’ We’ve been sorta saying, ‘Let’s see what happens.’”

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