The Washington Capitals are not having the most stellar season at the moment.
The Washington Capitals are trying to get used to a new “system.”
Team captain Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick on Saturday in the team’s 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Yea, that last one pleasantly surprised many fans in the DC area.
Ovechkin went into Saturday’s game with just five goals for the season and his team in their now unfortunately familiar last place position. The two-time MVP averaged over 50 goals in each of his first five NHL seasons, but the past two seasons his average has slipped to 35 goals. Not horrific, but when you’re looked to as a prime scoring option, this is not what you’d want to see happen to your numbers.
Capitals Coach Adam Oates kept telling the frustrated team captain that the goals were going to happen. “You want to see your go-to guy get some,” Oates told the media after the game. That Saturday, the goals didn’t start coming until the second period for Ovechkin, but when they began they didn’t stop.
Ovechkin first scored in the second period, giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead. “The fans love him. The place is rocking. It obviously helps the team,” Oates said. The Devils answered back with a goal later in the second period, but that was it for them, as the Capitals came out blasting in the third period. Ovechkin scored two more in the third period, pounding his gloves on the glass in excitement. Rounding out the Capitals dominating third period performance was an unassisted goal from Eric Ferh and a goal from Troy Brouwer on a power play.
"It is good to see him [Ovechkin] bust out. We need him to score to be successful, we all know that," Brouwer told the media. "We can't have him just being static and waiting for other guys to feed him the puck. He was in there, working hard, creating his own chances."
Ovechkin’s hat trick in Saturday’s game was the 11th of his career and his first in over 2 years – his last one being on January 22, 2011. During Saturday’s game, the Capitals’ captain exhibited a familiar aggressiveness and persistence in his play, something that hasn’t been seen for a full three periods in quite some time.
So, could this be the start of better things to come for Ovechkin and the Capitals? The team has a chance to move out of last place, as the Carolina Hurricanes (9-7-1) visit the Capitals (6-10-1) at the Verizon Center tonight at 7 PM.
Any more surprises up your sleeve Ovechkin???