GDB 11.0: OVIE ON FIRE

Jason Gregor
October 24 2013 12:56PM

Alex Ovechkin is my favourite player to watch in the NHL. I loved his "hot stick" celebration after he scored 50 goals for the 3rd time in his career, and right now he's scoring goals more frequently than everyone, including Steven Stamkos.

Ovechkin has 9 goals in 9 games this season, and 31 in his last 30 games dating back to last year. After scoring 32 goals in 2011 and 38 in 2012, many wrote Ovechkin had lost his offensive flair and had become too predictable.

Adam Oates became the coach of the Capitals and he convinced Ovechkin he could be more productive on the right wing, after playing the previous seven NHL seasons on the left side.

Oates moved Ovechkin to the right wing last year, and after some early struggles and adjustments, Ovechkin has returned to his elite scoring ways.

If you think 30 games is too short of a sample size to illustrate Ovechkin's dominant goal scoring ability, here's some more proof.

Since entering the NHL in 2005/2006 Ovechkin has scored 380 goals. The next closest is Ilya Kovalchuk with 309. Jarome Iginla and Dany Heatley are tied for 3rd most with 280 goals. In the previous eight seasons Ovechkin has scored 100 more goals than every player, except one.

What about Steven Stamkos you ask?

Stamkos is also an elite goal scorer, and since he entered the league, 2008/2009, he and Ovechkin are equally dangerous.Ovechkin has outscored him 217-213, and that four goal lead is due to a 9-5 Ovechkin advantage this season.

To be fair, if you exclude Stamkos' rookie season he has outscored Ovechkin the past four seasons. They are clearly the elite goal scorers in the game.

Iif you were one who wrote off Ovechkin, many of you scoffed at me when I said the Oilers should trade for him last February, you might want to reconsider your stance.

OVIE VS. YAKUPOV

Yakupov isn't going to be like Ovechkin, mainly because he isn't 6'3" and 230 pounds, but he has the potential to be a dangerous scorer like him.

It is interesting to note that Oates convinced Ovechkin to switch wings last season and go from his off-wing to the right side.Dallas Eakins has moved Yakupov from his off-wing to his natural left-side and he's hoping for the same results.

Keep in mind it took Ovechkin, a proven NHL scorer, 20 games to adjust to the new wing. The Oilers and Yakupov will need to be patient as he learns to play the left side.

Ovechkin admitted that he wanted to switch back to the left side early last year, but Oates convinced him to stick with it. Today, Ovechkin says he feels more comfortable on the right side than he ever did on the left. 

LINEUP

Marc Arcobello continues to shine. He is only the 3rd rookie in the past 20 years to score ten points in the first ten games of his rookie season. Sidney Crosby had 12 points in 2005, while Patrick Kane had ten. Arcobello has ten assists, and while he did play one game last season, this is considered his rookie year.

He's off to a great start. I don't expect him to produce like Kane or Crosby for the rest of the season, but if he continues to play the way he has, in both ends of the rink, he will be a constant contributor in the lineup.

Yakupov-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Arcobello-Hemsky
Jones-Gordon-Pitlick
Gazdic-Acton-Eager

Smid-Petry
Belov-J.Schultz
Ference-N.Schultz

Dubnyk

The Capitals have a big skilled group of forwards:

Johansson-Backstrom-Ovechkin
Erat-Laich-Brouwer
Chimera-Grabovski-Ward
Volpatti-Fehr-Wilson

Alzner-Carlson
Schmidt-Green
Erskine-Oleksy

Holtby

Smid and Petry will see a lot of Ovechkin tonight. "He is very difficult to contain. He's big, strong and one of the few skilled guys who likes to play physical," said Petry.

QUICK HITS

  • The Oilers should be able to generate a lot of chances tonight. The Capitals have allowed 34.3 shots/game (26th most) thus far, but the Capitals are also 10th in shots for, 31.4/game. Adam Oates stated he wants his team to be better defensively, but so far that hasn't happened.
     
  • Ovechkin has 5-3-8 in six games vs. the Oilers. His best game against the Oilers came on December 19th, 2009. Ovechkin potted two goals and an assist in the third period of a 4-2 comeback victory for the Capitals.
     
  • What makes Ovechkin such dangerous as a scorer is his ability to get off a hard shot from anywhere around his body. If a pass is behind him, in front of him, in his skates or close to his body, he is able to adjust his body positioning to get a shot off with velocity. His release point can change from shot to shot.
     
  • Devan Dubnyk has never faced Ovechkin. Tonight is his first chance to try and shut down one of the game's best snipers. He jokingly said he was excited and nervous at the same time.
     
  • Dubnyk told me the one adjustment he made after the first four games is that he is now coming out to the top of the crease to get set. If he does sink back, he is still out of his net more than he was in the first four games.

LOOKING AHEAD...

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers pick up their third straight win with a 4-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Former Oiler Jason Chimera scores.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: After scoring only two goals in the first nine games, the Oilers blueline continues their recent hot-streak with two more. Petry and Smid scored in Montreal, and tonight Anton Belov gets his first NHL goal and Petry pots his 3rd of the season.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 oilerman53
October 24 2013, 11:01PM
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It will likely take one goal to open the flood gates for a player like Yakupov, his dynamic all world skill can only be shut out for so long really. Remember the manor slump Eberle had last year? Blowing wide open chances and good players find a way to get out of slumps.

Nashville would never ever take a Russian in a trade for Weber, best bet is a package centered around Hall. The Oilers really could use a stud defenseman and getting the number one dman in the league would make this team an instant contender. I didnt see a whole lot of holes to the Oilers game tonight believe it or not. Its the old cliche that the bounces did not go their way.This is a weird schedule for them, right back on the road for a couple out west. You could see that they are adapting to the system Eakins wants to play, you dont keep a team with this much firepower silent for too long. Petry had a whale of a game tonight.

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#102 dougtheslug
October 24 2013, 11:06PM
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Kevin Lowe knows something about winning. That's why the rebuild will feature Connor McDavid as it's centerpiece.

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#103 Harry
October 24 2013, 11:09PM
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DSF wrote:

None of the above.

Sean Monahan will win it going away.

What about your golden boy down in Dallas? Your a complete retard

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#104 Gaz
October 24 2013, 11:15PM
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@DSF

Don't you think that's a little premature? I think he'll be a nice player - a 4-inch taller Sam Gagner - but I think the Flames are making a similar mistake to the one the Oilers made by keeping Gagner on a loser team, don't you?

And it is a little curious that you don't mention wunderkid in Dallas so much these days, you must admit.

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#105 Oiler63
October 24 2013, 11:17PM
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Tough puck luck today. Really didn't like the pass by the D man that iced the puck and led to the first goal. No capital player was even close to him and yet he made that bad pass nobody was ready to take. Oilers need to stop making that kind of play if they want stay in the game.

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#106 lolhockey
October 24 2013, 11:58PM
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It's pretty bad when I'm watching the Nuge line and I'm thinking, 'Don't pass it to Yak! Don't pass it to Yak!' The play just dies with him. What the hell...

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#107 Walter Sobchak
October 25 2013, 12:00AM
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This team sucks!!!

I'm a huge Oiler fan, but I’m tired of watching the team get absolutely run into the ground night after night.

To make it worse the coaching staff is completely being out coached night after night!!

This team is run by clowns who are living in the 80’s and not one has any idea how to build a contender!! Why is MSM not running these clowns down!!

It starts at the top!!!

Howson fired for doing nothing in Columbus.

MacTavish – fired then re-hired???

Kevin Lowe – 7 years and counting and had the audacity to lump Oiler fans into two criteria, only to follow that up with an irrelevant I’ve won 6 rings! The ego on this man is baffling?

Somebody has to stop this madness!!!

This is who I would keep on the Oilers.

RNH – Hall – Eberle – Perron – Gordon The rest of this team needs to be washed!!

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#108 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 25 2013, 12:27AM
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This debacle looks really good on Eakins. Singling out Yakupov for poor play, look at the mess Dallas has created now. Give the Sabres anything they want for their first selection in 2015, they must be the odds on favorite in the McDavid sweepstakes.

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#109 Reg Dunlop
October 25 2013, 12:34AM
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oilerman53 wrote:

It will likely take one goal to open the flood gates for a player like Yakupov, his dynamic all world skill can only be shut out for so long really. Remember the manor slump Eberle had last year? Blowing wide open chances and good players find a way to get out of slumps.

Nashville would never ever take a Russian in a trade for Weber, best bet is a package centered around Hall. The Oilers really could use a stud defenseman and getting the number one dman in the league would make this team an instant contender. I didnt see a whole lot of holes to the Oilers game tonight believe it or not. Its the old cliche that the bounces did not go their way.This is a weird schedule for them, right back on the road for a couple out west. You could see that they are adapting to the system Eakins wants to play, you dont keep a team with this much firepower silent for too long. Petry had a whale of a game tonight.

Are you on glue? An instant contender with the addition of Weber? Not only would the deal see LOTS of talent headed to Nashville when we don't have a lot to spare... even if Weber was added to the mix with no subtractions the oil is a lotto team. Time to consider whether the 1st overalls are part, a big part, of the problem. Tough luck to suck at the wrong time, missing out on Tavares and then Mackinnon.

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#110 bazmagoo
October 25 2013, 12:41AM
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Here's a suggestion for Oilersnation - Yakupov and Gagner to Columbus for Ryan Johansen and Ryan Murray. Pretty good fit for both teams, a #1 pick and a #6 pick for a #2 pick and a #4 pick.

Johansen is steadily progressing as a tall, big but not physical, sound defensive center. Ryan Murray is a great defense partner (extremely sound defensively) for Justin Schultz now, and both can develop together.

Personally I think that would be a "bold", yet ultimately sound deal for the Oilers.

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#111 bazmagoo
October 25 2013, 12:53AM
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Also, personally I think we need Justin Schultz on the bottom pairing for at least a season or two. Belov and Ference are going to have to take on 2nd pairing duties, with Smid and Petry as the 1st. Hope none of them get injured this season, or we are completely hooped.

Can anyone tell me what the hell happened to our powerplay? 3rd in the league in 2011-2012, 8th in the league 2012-2013, now 24th in the league. To me, this falls squarely on Eakins.

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#112 Andrew
October 25 2013, 01:14AM
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Anyone else think it may be time to send Yak to AHL to learn how to check his man in the defensive faceoff circle.

And what the heck is this hang your head and slowly skating to the bench totally taking himself out of the play. That has suck bag prima donna written all over it.

E-freaking-nuf of this molly-codling b.s. What I want to know is where is all this coming from. I didn't see it coming based on his performance last year.

Time for some really tough love imo.

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#113 spliff
October 25 2013, 06:04AM
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Just re-read the news story from the Sun after the KLoser press conference when he insulted the fanbase and showed off his 6 rings.

The link is below and worth a read:

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/04/15/president-kevin-lowe-fails-to-provide-change-in-leadership-he-says-the-team-needs

Does he realize how much he is despised in this city?

When I read that article again, any hope I had for this franchise sunk. We truly are f*cked.

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#114 NsxZero
October 25 2013, 07:24AM
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@Reg Dunlop

That's what me and my friends were saying at the game yesterday. We sure chose a bad time to suck. Imagine if we had an Ovechkin over any of our first overalls.

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#115 Heisenberg
October 25 2013, 07:45AM
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bazmagoo wrote:

Here's a suggestion for Oilersnation - Yakupov and Gagner to Columbus for Ryan Johansen and Ryan Murray. Pretty good fit for both teams, a #1 pick and a #6 pick for a #2 pick and a #4 pick.

Johansen is steadily progressing as a tall, big but not physical, sound defensive center. Ryan Murray is a great defense partner (extremely sound defensively) for Justin Schultz now, and both can develop together.

Personally I think that would be a "bold", yet ultimately sound deal for the Oilers.

Highly doubt jackets interested in another highly drafted russian. They got burned by filatov already

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#116 Rob...
October 25 2013, 08:02AM
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Harry wrote:

What about your golden boy down in Dallas? Your a complete retard

How can you get props for both calling someone a retard and misspelling You're in the same sentence?

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#117 Newj
October 25 2013, 08:24AM
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Heisenberg wrote:

Highly doubt jackets interested in another highly drafted russian. They got burned by filatov already

Also Zherdev was drafted in 1st rnd (4th overall) and he didnt pan out for them as well.

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#118 Zamboni Driver
October 25 2013, 08:29AM
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@Newj

Wait!

what are you talking about?!!

Yakupov being compared to Zherdev and Filatov?

Yesterday it was Ovechkin.

I'm so confused and distraught.

Okay I know...which one of those three people would try to go one-on-three then lose it in defenders skates time after time after time after time?

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#119 Newj
October 25 2013, 08:36AM
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Zamboni Driver wrote:

Wait!

what are you talking about?!!

Yakupov being compared to Zherdev and Filatov?

Yesterday it was Ovechkin.

I'm so confused and distraught.

Okay I know...which one of those three people would try to go one-on-three then lose it in defenders skates time after time after time after time?

Lol...

actually Zherdev can dish very well..but Hitchcock didnt like his lack of defense...neither did Laviolette and he's not exactly known as a defensive minded coach. Nicolay sat many games as a Flyer under Peter.

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#120 time to change
October 25 2013, 08:53AM
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The game last night was good for both team in terms of performance but the Caps were just a better team. Its time to make trades to become a better team we have the ability do so with so much talent, sure it would be sad to see some of these guys go. Lets say Hall was on the sharks,im sure he would be the top scorer in the league, but as it is now we make other team feel better they come in and we have 3 first overalls and teams win and there managers are thinking that 15 overall pick was not bad at all.

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#121 madjam
October 25 2013, 08:58AM
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Oilers paying well considering . They just are not a good team . Results show , even when they are playing well , they still mainly lose , all excuses aside .It's up to Katz to fix this lost ship .

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#122 Oiler Al
October 25 2013, 09:17AM
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No Capital player including their stars, played more than 15 min. for the entire game. Yet, Oilers top guns played in the 20+ plus min. range. No wonder Caps, had more steam in the third period. Both teams had the same travel schedule.

Have to say this but their goalie out played Dubnyk.

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#123 Wonger
October 25 2013, 09:20AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

This team sucks!!!

I'm a huge Oiler fan, but I’m tired of watching the team get absolutely run into the ground night after night.

To make it worse the coaching staff is completely being out coached night after night!!

This team is run by clowns who are living in the 80’s and not one has any idea how to build a contender!! Why is MSM not running these clowns down!!

It starts at the top!!!

Howson fired for doing nothing in Columbus.

MacTavish – fired then re-hired???

Kevin Lowe – 7 years and counting and had the audacity to lump Oiler fans into two criteria, only to follow that up with an irrelevant I’ve won 6 rings! The ego on this man is baffling?

Somebody has to stop this madness!!!

This is who I would keep on the Oilers.

RNH – Hall – Eberle – Perron – Gordon The rest of this team needs to be washed!!

What about BIG STEVE MACINTYRE? Get out from under the desk keyboarding tuff guy!

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#124 tileguy
October 25 2013, 09:42AM
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I'm just glad I didn't shell out a few hundres dollars for me and the kid/wife/guest to watch this. Hey Katz, what are you and Kevin gonna charge for a seat in rexall2?

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#125 Todd
October 25 2013, 09:45AM
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NsxZero wrote:

That's what me and my friends were saying at the game yesterday. We sure chose a bad time to suck. Imagine if we had an Ovechkin over any of our first overalls.

Many people need to relax.....

Hall was top 10 NHL scoring and if not for eastern media bias would have been 1st line all star LW. (aka the best LW in the entire league).

I'd say that's a pretty big home run on a first overall pick unless your expecation is generation talent or bust. OV was a dog last year, the caps trying to figure out how they could get rid of his 10 mil X 100 year contract. Suddenly he is the example of what we don't have??? Talk about knee jerk.

Henrik Sedins first 5 NHL seasons: 29pts, 36pts, 39pts, 42pts, 75pts FIVE SEASONS before he even matched Gagner's rookie numbers. Imagine how much Oiler fans would have crucified him. Crappy Sedin. Worst pick ever!!

Deep breath. I get it. This season sucks, and it probably hurts more than any other year of this slugging rebuidl. But trading away 1st overall picks or blockbuster panic trades are how you get on the 2018 "Worst Trades of All Time" list. Like almost everyone else here, I think Lowe is an incompetent bumbling fool. But he isn't going anywhere, so for the love, quit b1tching about him.... So therefore I accept and look at the alternative. I think MacT is a very competent GM. Give him time. Perron, Gordon, Belov all seem like solid moves. He has been trying his hardest to upgrade net... Give it time. I am very happy MacT is on board and am glad he is running the ship not the commenting folks on OilersNation.

Panic and rebuilding the rebuild via desperate mega deals is how the Islanders stayed in rebuild for 15 years.

For example:

*After Luongo's first season New York Islanders trade Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to the Florida Panthers for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha. *After Chara's second season New York Islanders trade Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and first-round pick in 2001 Draft (Jason Spezza) to the Ottawa Senators for Alexei Yashin. (Nov. 9, 2001)

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#126 Itshallover
October 25 2013, 09:55AM
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tileguy wrote:

I'm just glad I didn't shell out a few hundres dollars for me and the kid/wife/guest to watch this. Hey Katz, what are you and Kevin gonna charge for a seat in rexall2?

LOL I still have that problem.

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