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 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
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
Avatar
#101 Walter Sobchak
October 24 2013, 05:47PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Wax Man Riley wrote:

Gags played on the wing that year.

Cogs was the C.

Also Gagner's best year.

Also spells the end for Yakupov.

The Oilers are convinced Arco can play centre they will anoint him the the new Pissani give Gagner Yakupov spot and trade Yakupov for " Depth" throughout the line up.

That's what I expect from the brain trust running this show.

Avatar
#102 Alsker
October 24 2013, 05:52PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
Walter Sobchak wrote:

Also spells the end for Yakupov.

The Oilers are convinced Arco can play centre they will anoint him the the new Pissani give Gagner Yakupov spot and trade Yakupov for " Depth" throughout the line up.

That's what I expect from the brain trust running this show.

Damn, didn't think anything this team could do would make me drink more BUT that idea is actually possible...hopefully it leads to Hemmer trade instead.

Avatar
#103 Fresh Mess
October 24 2013, 06:38PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Remember when Potter looked like an all-star the first 20 games a couple seasons ago?

I wouldn't trade for Ovechkin, as I am interested in wining the Stanley Cup.

Avatar
#104 Alsker
October 24 2013, 07:11PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
DSF wrote:

None of the above.

Sean Monahan will win it going away.

Really, did you pick a fLame jusrt to get xtra "trashes". Personally, considering they're all western teams I would have to guess its Hertl early on.

Avatar
#105 Alsker
October 24 2013, 08:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

tough play by Yak on Ovies goal, went right by him charging to the point( I assume), wasn't going to mention his 1 on 3 attempt. Well he does have his feet moving tonight, a step in the right direction.

Avatar
#106 Poolanov
October 24 2013, 08:59PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

If that wasn't goalie interference what is??? Another minus for wimpy...sigh

Avatar
#107 reaperfunkss (2nd tier fan)
October 24 2013, 10:10PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Seems to me that the pp excelled under Krueger. Too early to write of Eakins I am sure.

Have to question every decision from upper management right now cause it is the suits who should be wearing these losses.

just sayin

Avatar
#108 srbuhr
October 24 2013, 10:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Serious Gord

Hard to blame coaching after such few games but defensive zone system isn't working. The question is do u give it twenty games of which you lose 12-15 or do you simplify the system. I still can't figure out why we aren't covering the slot or the points. Regardless of the system keeping the puck away from these zones is a good idea. And it's time to penalize players for toe drag after toe drag. Shoot at the net and crash it. It is time to play hockey not non contact shinny. Finally the fourth line was very good and should have played much more, RNH, Ebs much less and yak essentially none after the second goal.

Avatar
#109 Oiler63
October 24 2013, 11:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

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.

Avatar
#110 Newj
October 25 2013, 08:24AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#111 Zamboni Driver
October 25 2013, 08:29AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@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?

Avatar
#112 Itshallover
October 25 2013, 09:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers
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.

Avatar
#113 They're $hittie
October 24 2013, 04:56PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Even before his concussions he wasn't close to the goal scorer of Ovechkin. He's a better overall player, but he isn't as good of a goal scorer.

His best year was 2010/2011 when he had 32 goals in 41 games. If he kept that pace, which he never had at any other point of his career, he would have had 64.

Crosby is a better player, but not a better goal scorer.

looking at Ovie numbers you can say he is a 45-50 goal score every year if you round out the numbers or discard the outliers.

What I am getting at is take a way the injury years and go to the year crosby really took the next step and it appears that crosby will be a consistent 45-50 goal scorer going forward.

Avatar
#114 Bucknuck
October 24 2013, 04:58PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

In 2007 when Gogs, Gags and Nilsson were lighting it up in that playoff drive, who played centre? Was it Cogs or Gagner?

If it was Cogliano then Gagner already has some experience on the wing, but I can't remember.

Avatar
#115 MessyEH!
October 24 2013, 05:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Bucknuck wrote:

In 2007 when Gogs, Gags and Nilsson were lighting it up in that playoff drive, who played centre? Was it Cogs or Gagner?

If it was Cogliano then Gagner already has some experience on the wing, but I can't remember.

Gagner played wing after his wrist was sliced by a skate.

Avatar
#116 Harlie
October 24 2013, 05:34PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'd rather see MacT move Arco and + for a 1D than any of the fab 5. Keep it rollin' Arcs!

Avatar
#117 TeddyTurnbuckle
October 24 2013, 06:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I really like Tom Wilson, he would be a great fit on the oilers. Interesting how he plays tonight.

Avatar
#118 Serious Gord
October 24 2013, 06:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
DSF wrote:

Speculation today that the Predators should trade Weber.

http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/53972-Should-Preds-trade-Shea-Weber-The-answer-may-surprise-you.html?

The Oilers should trade Hall, Marincin and the 2014 1st round pick and get this handled.

Merits of the trade aside, does EDM have the cap room to make that trade.

And regarding the merits, while I am a big fan of weber I think he has an albatross contract in the medium to along term.

Avatar
#119 Rocket
October 24 2013, 07:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I'm pretty excited to see Ovechkin vs. Yakupov. I bet Yak is jacked to play Ovie so it should be good to see.

Oilers need a good start to this game to set the pace. The last thing they want is to be running around trying to catch The Capitals and taking weak hooking & tripping penalties. The Caps powerplay is too good.

Avatar
#120 Harlie
October 24 2013, 07:08PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Fresh Mess

Easy there FreshT. Potter is no Ovechkin just like Reasoner was no Sakic.

Avatar
#121 Oilersman
October 24 2013, 07:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I was actually the first to read this comment or at least there was 0 comments at the time but I didn't reply because of how long it takes for me to type from my phone. Also my non witty remark of trying to incorporate a fisting of some player was sure to be removed anyway. But to the article, which of our players could possibly turn out to be an Ovie type? Or do we have one of them but we don't know it yet until he is traded? Idk. Go Oil.

Avatar
#122 westcoastoil
October 24 2013, 07:35PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

Anyone not wearing rose colored glasses could see that one coming. We've been talking here for over a year now about it. It was never a matter of if, it was only a matter of when.

Those who felt the Preds had too much (27 million to date) into Shea Weber, could soon see their arse handed to them. Strudwick, Willis and Gregor.

Yakupov, Gagner and Klefbom should do it. May need that first rounder and Hemsky to bring in Couturier as well. Weber anchoring the blueline, along with Nurse and yet another top 5 pick next summer, that's a pound of cure if you ask me. Succeeding while sucking, well, Lowe wrote the book on that one.

Gagner has a NTC. If MacT moves him without his signing off on it whether it's officially kicked in or not, good luck signing FAs or getting your players to ever trust mgmt. again

Avatar
#123 Alsker
October 24 2013, 07:35PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Quicksilver ballet

Holy, MacT said "bold" not 'BOLD!!!!", my only concern would be we give up a lot of offense(supposedly), maybe xtra D prospect + vet(Grebs/Fedun/Larsson/Belov) instead of Gagner.

Avatar
#124 Alsker
October 24 2013, 07:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Quicksilver ballet wrote:

The names may change, but the best player in the deal would be coming this way. What a role model for Nurse.

No arguement there, does management have the stones to at least throw the offer at the Preds.

Avatar
#125 Asian on Oilers Nation
October 24 2013, 09:50PM
Trash it!
4
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Can we tank for Connor McDavid? One more year.........

Avatar
#126 Newj
October 25 2013, 08:36AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
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.

Comments are closed for this article.