Whatever speculation there was about Alex Ovechkin being injured during the Washington Capitals latest playoff defeat has disappeared pretty quickly.
Ovechkin will be joining Team Russia at the IIHF World Championships currently taking place over in Europe, as they begin to head into the home stretch of the tournament. They’ve done well to this point, and are a favorite to head into to Gold Medal Game at the end of next weekend in Stockholm.
The reason that many have suggested that Ovechkin was injured during the Stanley Cup Playoffs was the fact that he was a ghost on the stat sheet for the Capitals. The New York Rangers did an outstanding job of containing the Hart Trophy candidate, holding him to just a couple of points.
Ovechkin finished the series with only two points to his credit, with a goal coming in Game 1, followed by an assist in Game 2. Other than that, he was silent. He finished the series with a minus-2 rating and a whole bunch of complaints, including some sort of conspiracy theories about the league at one point.
What Ovechkin accomplished, or did not accomplish, during the playoffs certainly isn’t indicative of what he did during the regular season. He had an outstanding 2013 campaign, finishing the year as the Rocket Richard Trophy winner as the league’s top goal scorer, with 32 goals on the year. He finished with 56 points overall.
Ovechkin joins a Russian team that already boasts the likes of Ilya Kovalchuk, who has had a mighty impressive tournament, and former teammates Semyon Varlamov. We’ll have to see if Ovechkin comes out and produces more at Worlds than he was able to against the Rangers, as the Capitals are once again left searching for answers after the postseason.