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Could Ovechkin Be Slowing Down?

from Dan Daly of The Washington Times,

Ovie missed some time before the opener because of the death of an uncle. And yes, the season is still young. Heck, in other years we wouldn’t have given it a second thought if he hadn’t put the puck in the net in the first two games. But this isn’t like other years. This is the year after he finished 14th in the league in goals — he had never been out of the top four before — and only managed seven on the power play.

Ovechkin’s famous boast is that “Russian machine never breaks.” But “Russian machine” may, at some point, start getting fewer miles per gallon. Are we at that point now? Is Ovie no longer an unstoppable force of nature? Has he devolved into a lower life form — from superstar to very good hockey player?

Asked to evaluate his performance this season, Ovechkin said, “I think minus-2 is not that good. But I have a couple of chances to score goals. If one goes in. … I think our line has to play better 5-on-5. [It was on the ice for two even-strength goals by the Lightning.]”

Ovechkin is closing in on his 500th NHL game, hard as it is to believe. You wonder about the toll those games have taken, given how physically he plays and how much of a target he is. Granted, he’s 26, but is it possible he’s a high-mileage 26 - 26 going on 30?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin

Comments

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But this isn’t like other years.

Yeah, and his start is not like other years.  You can’t simply gloss over the fact that he traveled to Russia, FOR A FUNERAL, and back in a couple of days.  Whether he scored 85, 15 or 394 points last year is completely irrelavent.  Never mind that it’s motherf*cking TWO games into the season…

Posted by Garth on 10/13/11 at 12:59 PM ET

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...To add to that point. How can Ovechkin have “high mileage” at 26 without extended playoff runs? But you’re correct Garth - some of these writers have absolutely nothing to write so they start speculating and predicting the Jack Adams award.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 10/13/11 at 04:09 PM ET

Bossy_Rules's avatar

Most players are already slowing down by the time the hit 26.  Look at Gretzky’s career.  In his age 26 season he had 183 pts - a great season by almost any standard - but it was his lowest total since his age 20 season.  And he never matched it again.  Lafleur peaked at 25, had three more superstar seasons and declined dramatically at 29.  Mario’s best season was at age 23.  Bossy’s was at 25,  Trottier’s were at 22 and 25,  Sakic’s was at 26 although he almost matched it at 31,  but then again Gordie Howe’s best total of 103pts was achieved at age 40 so you never know. But declining production at 26 is the norm not the exception.

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 10/13/11 at 04:22 PM ET

dougie's avatar

Jeez…..How long before someone is writing him off because he didn’t look good in the pregame interview segment?

Posted by dougie on 10/13/11 at 05:30 PM ET

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Most players are already slowing down by the time the hit 26.  Look at Gretzky’s career.  In his age 26 season he had 183 pts - a great season by almost any standard - but it was his lowest total since his age 20 season.  And he never matched it again.  Lafleur peaked at 25, had three more superstar seasons and declined dramatically at 29.  Mario’s best season was at age 23.  Bossy’s was at 25,  Trottier’s were at 22 and 25,  Sakic’s was at 26 although he almost matched it at 31,  but then again Gordie Howe’s best total of 103pts was achieved at age 40 so you never know. But declining production at 26 is the norm not the exception.

There’s a common denominator here…Ovechkin will get his, but probably not with Beaudreu (spelling??) in Washington.

Posted by Jesters Dead on 10/13/11 at 08:01 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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