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Is Ovechkin finally buying into a team-first philosophy?

Amongst many intriguing “thoughts,” the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman finds it refreshing that Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is essentially the anti-Radulov/Kostitsyn, having decided to place his team’s best interests ahead of his own as he, perhaps for the first time, buys into the concept that his team’s success matters more than individual accolades:

Captain Capital is saying all the right things about his 13:36 of time on the ice Monday night. That’s the lowest of any NHL game in which he wasn’t hurt or ejected.

“I don’t think we have to talk about it right now,” he said on the HNIC postgame, when asked if he discusses the situation with Dale Hunter. “Right now, the most important thing [is] winning in playoffs ... I’m not a guy who is going to scream to everybody ‘I want to play’ ... Sometimes you just suck it up and play for your team.”

Privately, Ovechkin is not bitching. Teammates and friends who know him well say he’s dying to get more action, but realizes this is not the time to demand it.He’s right about that. This is an unexpectedly great stretch in Washington, after a borderline nightmarish regular season. And credit to him for rising to the occasion when a powerplay beckoned.

Continued

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Sounds all fine and dandy right now. But he’ll be asking to be traded in the off-season. if I’m Columbus at the draft I’m waving Rich Nash and a top prospect or 2nd round pick at the Caps and see if they’ll bite.

Posted by Franzenstein from Deeetroit on 05/03/12 at 01:42 AM 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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