Alexander Ovechkin has to be an early favorite for MVP. Ovechkin scored with 48 seconds remaining against the Philadelphia Flyers to force overtime. The Washington Capitals were losing 4-to-1 heading into the final 10 minutes of the third period. The Capitals ended up winning the game in a shootout. Ovechkin has made a living this year scoring timely goals to help the Capitals retrieve points in games they were out of.
Ovechkins’ heroics were also evident in a 6-to-5 contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning in which he scored four goals. The Capitals were losing that game 3-to-1 headed into the second period. The MVP stands for the Most Valuable Player. No player has fit that description quite like Ovechkin has. He has literally put the Capitals on his back this year. The Capitals’ top six players would baffle most NHL experts. If it weren’t for Ovechkin this team would have a hard time being relevant in the NHL.
Say what you want about Sidney Crosby. At the end of the day, if Crosby doesn’t play, he has players like Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz to pick up the slack. If Ovechkin doesn’t play the Capitals have Marcus Johnansson and Dimitry Orlov. There is no comparing the two. Ovechkin is literally playing with the kids who were picked last in gym class.
Ovechkin has also grown up. His play and his emotional frustration shows that he has taken on more of a leadership role. He clearly has the guys in the locker room behind him. If he keeps providing the initial spark the Capitals shouldn’t be doubted in any game they fall behind in.