Holy cow, in the last game vs. Sabres Ovi shot on goal a record 10 times with 4 attempts blocked and 3 missed, but it turned out he also set a new for him record in the game in Winnipeg. Slava Malamud talked to Adam Oates about the challenges and new horizons for Great Eight. Here it is...
"Working with Ovechkin is why I became a coach," said Adam Oates in interview to Russian Sport-Express. "To expand his true potential, to show what he's really capable of, all this has become a professional challenge for me."
"We want him to touch puck as often as possible, and playing right wing allows him to do it. In the recent game in Winnipeg Alex set a new record - 50 puck touches in that game. We count such things. Before he was not even close to such numbers."
Right now almost all of his goals are one-timers...
Have you seen how he scored a deflection goal in Winnipeg? When the last time he has scored such a goal? Imagine if he would have at least five of those goals in a season? Five goals in a style he never scored before? It will be a new dimension for Ovechkin... And it's not bad that he now scores differently, it's just how things are in this league now.
You mean the NHL has adjusted to him?
Not only to him. In general, to all fast and skillful forwards. They are not given a room to maneuver. But now on the right wing Ovechkin can have more time when his linemates do for him most of the work. And when he played on the left, then he had to do everything for everyone... Actually, believe me, you have not seen yet of what Ovechkin is capable of! I told to the general manager, "This guy is one of the best in the world. And I want to make him even better for you." You can not even imagine what Ovechkin will be capable of next year.
Next year will be the Olympic Games. Are you purposely intriguing us?
Oh boy, and in team Russia, they surely will play him on the left wing... If I were Alex, I would ask the Russian coach now, "Please put me on the right wing!". I am even ready to ask them the same by myself.
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