Year after year we hear the complaint about the Caps first line, especially their star player Alex Ovechkin. Today Coach Trotz did what none have dared do before and moved the underperforming captain to the third line.
Typically Ovechkin bombs in the playoffs. Typically he scores five goals before the series ends for the Caps. Of course there was the one year he only scored one goal (2012-13) and the one year he scored 11 (2008/09). This year the Caps need the high-scoring Ovi; however, as much as he talks the talk, we aren’t seeing it in his production.
This seems in some respects to be a bit of an off year for him. It is another year of adjusting his game for yet another new coach. There is no doubt that the coach and captain have a mutual respect for each other. But for some reason, it isn’t translating to playoff goals.
Ovi was ever the diplomat after today’s switch in lines. Trotz said, “The bottom line is we need him to be really good.” To which Ovi said, “Whatever it takes.”
Don’t count him out yet. Something needs to change. Moving the lines around and going in with 11 forwards and seven defensemen is a real change from the norm.
Will it work? We hope so.
Will Ovi score? We hope so.
Will they figure out Fleury before Murray steps in again? Gosh they sure better!
Hang in their friends, it’s gonna be a stressful week ahead!