NHL Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin Has No Excuses For Horrendous Performance

Getty Images

Getty Images

When you first look at the score of this game, a 5-2 victory for the Washington Capitals, the first thought might be “I wonder how many times Alex Ovechkin scored?” Well, when you dissect the box score, Ovie’s numbers may surprise you, but they do outline how his 2013-14 season has gone.

Ovechkin had zero goals, zero assists and a minus-2 rating. All of the Capitals’ goals were scored during even strength play, which means that for all five goals they scored, Ovechkin wasn’t on the ice for one of them. Even more absurd, he was in the play for both goals that the Carolina Hurricanes were able to put behind Braden Holtby.

This game didn’t matter; both teams have been eliminated from playoff contention, but it still has to be infuriating for Caps fans to watch the leader of their team, and one of the most talented players in the NHL, be so sluggish all game long. Despite Ovechkin accomplishing his fifth career 50-goal season in 2013-14, his defensive play has been criticized extensively and he isn’t helping his critics. The glaring number on his stat total is his minus-36 rating, which is the worst in the entire league.

Ovechkin has been known as someone who plays with an enormous amount of passion. It’s understandable that it’s difficult to take a game seriously once your playoff hopes are crushed, but when you’re the one who your teammates look to for inspiration, there’s no excuse for such a horrendous performance.

Moreover, Ovechkin only had 14:19 time on ice Thursday night, which is the lowest he’s had in a game all season. It’s obvious that Capitals head coach Adam Oates has seen enough and was most likely looking to send a message to his captain. Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr all picked up three points in the win over the Hurricanes, but the most noticeable part of the night was how out of it Ovechkin seems to be.