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New Alex Ovechkin is looking like the old one

Alex Ovechkin

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, in Washington. Ovechkin scored two goals in the game as the Capitals won 3-1. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)


It’s probably no coincidence that the Capitals have gotten a few more wins lately and Alex Ovechkin has been a big part of it.

The Caps have earned points in four of their last five games and over that span Ovechkin has had four goals and three assists and has taken over the team goal scoring lead.’s Chuck Gormley poses the question: Has the old Ovechkin returned? The Magic 8-Ball would say, “ask again later.”

Ovechkin tells Gormley that the way the Caps are doing things now is by being more careful.

“I think we’re playing moere safely,” he said. “We’re trying not to make mistakes in their zone or the neutral zone. When you have an opportunity to go you go and try to make some moves. But most of the time we’re thinking about playing safe.”

There are some coaches who used to say that “safe was death” but for the Capitals, playing it safe is paying off right now.