Joe Beninati mentioned that Ovi came to the rink very early today. Ovi is really trying hard to end his slump. He didn't score vs. Ottawa, but he was very noticeable on the ice, skated very well, tried to finish all the checks, had one very nice moment when he went through a couple Ottawa defencemen and almost scored.
He is still far far away from his top shape, like in this video, but he is working on it and his day will come (hopefully at least in April :-).
His slump is the hottest topic for hockey fans all over the world on the internet. TSN (Jan. 15, 2011) asked their readers: We want to hear your theories on why Ovy's knack for going top shelf has suddenly dried up. It's Your Call.
I saw that page when they just posted it and 15-20 minutes later I couldn't believe my eyes, there were like 16 (!) pages with responses. As of now there are 38 pages and going. It was discussed on Kukla's Korner, HF Boards, hockey blogs, hockey forums all over the world. It is actually really amazing how even haters care about his slump.
So what Ovi thinks about it? Here's the answer in Mike Wise's article (Jan. 16, 2011)
No one wants to end this goal funk more than Ovie. But other than the times it's clearly cost the Capitals a victory, it might not be the worst thing to have this happen at midseason.
It says here one of the Caps' main problems the past few years is watching Ovechkin weave through five bad guys as if they were traffic cones. He almost trusted himself too much with the puck, and the result was many of his gifted teammates turning into creasemen hoping for a rebound in front of the net.
If his teammates can play tick-tack-toe a few shifts, they are only going to get better as a team. Besides, it's not like Ovechkin isn't trying.
"The most important thing for me and the organization now is not to be MVP and scoring leader," Ovechkin said outside the Caps' locker room about 30 minutes after the Ottawa game. "It's for me to help bring the championship to Washington.
"My numbers are not that good and it's surprising to me. But I don't know what else to do but keep shooting. The puck simply don't go in right now. It's a long season. If I keep playing hard, it will. I know."
Asked to dignify even the more provocative reasons theorized for scoring fewer than one goal every three games this year - poor fitness, devoting too much attention to non-hockey matters, predictable style of play, toning down his big-hit aggression - Ovechkin bristles at the criticism.
"It's people looking, trying to find something," he said. "What I want to say to them is, 'Don't say that. Instead of watching me all the time for what is wrong with me, maybe you need to watch yourself."
LOL, I think you can't find a better answer and I think Ovi shows that he is really mad. Something gotta give because Ovi is getting hungry. Speaking of which, here's this post from HF Boards. Unlike his fellow Canadians who repeatedly posted on TSN "it's because he's Russian", this poster is quite objective...
Mark my word, he will.
I don't totally agree with fly4apuckguy, but it's a good read. An aggravating wrist injury is not a show stopper for many players, but for Ovechkin wrist shot is his deadliest weapon. When he is at his best Ovi's wrist shot bents goalie's masks, damages shin pads and breaks protective shields of goals cameras.
Also there's maybe a truth that Ovi stopped improving his game, but I think it's a combination of many things, like incomplete pre-season training, getting over 25 years old mark or Vancouver Olympics loss to Canada. By the way, someone on TSN noted that it was not just Ovi, other Russians, like Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, Malkin, Gonchar, they couldn't recover fast enough after loss to Canada. Maybe it's also the reason why Pens lost to Habs in playoffs. Maybe someone should analyze how that victory change the play of those Canadians players. It definitely helped to one guy, we all know who.
Come on, Ovi! You are only two ovechtricks away from Stamkos. :-) But it doesn't matter how much you score 'cause we still love ya!
Go Ovi! Go Caps!