by Patrick Hoffman on 01/08/12 at 01:06 PM ET
With Pittsburgh Penguins’ superstar Sidney Crosby struggling to get healthy, the National Hockey League needs a player like Washington Capitals’ forward Alex Ovechkin to be better now more than ever.
In Ovechkin’s first few seasons in the NHL, he was absolutely amazing to watch. “Ovy” could score goals at will, fire pucks and more pucks on net, dipsy doodle around five skaters, and hit with the best of them.
Last season, however, the league saw a much different Ovechkin. Ovechkin scored just 32 goals after averaging close to 54 goals a season in his first five years in the NHL.
The league and its fans also saw Ovechkin get lazy on shifts, fail to back check, turn over the puck, and even have his lowest shot total of his career with 367. Prior to last season, Ovechkin averaged close to 432 shots a season.
Fast forward to this season and after a slow start, it seems like Sir Alex is beginning to find his game again. In 39 games this season, Ovechkin has 17 goals and 16 assists for 33 points.
Furthermore, Ovechkin is starting to show that streaky side of his. In his last six games, Ovechkin has 6 goals and 3 assists for nine points.
If this Ovechkin can come back in full force, the NHL will be much better off.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.