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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.


"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


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.



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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.

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3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia


3 stars of the game: A lethargic loss in Philadelphia

Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. 

After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin. 

Here are your three stars from the game: 

1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out: 

Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it. 

2. Shayne Gostisbehere​ got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games. 

3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose. 

The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center.