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Has Ovechkin Passed His Prime?


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#1 Bring Back The Bruise Bros

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:35 AM

Through 56 games, Alexander Ovechkin has scored a total of 45 points. He is easily on pace to have his worst offensive year of his career. Washington got blown out by Carolina 5-0 last night. He is scoreless in his last 2 games, and has scored just 2 points in his last 5. Following Bruce Boudreau's departure from Washington, many (including myself) thought he would thrive under Dale Hunter.

What can Washington do with him? He is clearly under-performing, and has a terrible attitude. Many talk about Alex Semin's days in Washington as being numbered. How long until we talk about OV getting wheeled out of DC? How much longer will the GM and coaching staff put up with the mediocre play? For the amount of money he is making, he is definitely not playing at the talent level he is expected to. He's got a ridiculously long contract, which I figured would come back to bite Washington in the ass eventually. However, I'm sure many teams would be willing to inherit it. Would a change of scenery do the trick to get him back on his game, or is he simply not capable of playing at the skill level he used to?

Has Alexander Ovechkin passed his prime, LGW?
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#2 arag

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:54 AM

Through 56 games, Alexander Ovechkin has scored a total of 45 points. He is easily on pace to have his worst offensive year of his career. Washington got blown out by Carolina 5-0 last night. He is scoreless in his last 2 games, and has scored just 2 points in his last 5. Following Bruce Boudreau's departure from Washington, many (including myself) thought he would thrive under Dale Hunter.

What can Washington do with him? He is clearly under-performing, and has a terrible attitude. Many talk about Alex Semin's days in Washington as being numbered. How long until we talk about OV getting wheeled out of DC? How much longer will the GM and coaching staff put up with the mediocre play? For the amount of money he is making, he is definitely not playing at the talent level he is expected to. He's got a ridiculously long contract, which I figured would come back to bite Washington in the ass eventually. However, I'm sure many teams would be willing to inherit it. Would a change of scenery do the trick to get him back on his game, or is he simply not capable of playing at the skill level he used to?

Has Alexander Ovechkin passed his prime, LGW?

With 10 mil/year until 2021I think Caps are stuck with him. Ism sure he can be great if he chooses to be. Somehow things are not working out in that team.

#3 13dangledangle

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:14 AM

I actually was searching trade rumors last night to see if there were trying to ship him out before its too late. If his productin doesnt pick up that team is screwed for a long while. I really think however they need a significant shake up that sends some people packing because he was so good a couple years ago and he should now be almost getting into his prime right? Rockstar at 23 forgotten at 25? Something is a miss in washington...
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#4 up2here

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:29 AM

This will now be two consecutive down years for Ovechkin but its hard to say hes past his prime at 26 yeard old. I will say this though. His style of play does not normally lend itself to a long career.

#5 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:40 AM

He seems to be stuck in neutral; but, for two seasons? He will not end his career in Washington.

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#6 Wings_Toledo

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:45 AM

The problem is that teams have figured him out and he refuses to change his game even slightly to create more offense. Combine that with his "me first" attitude and you can see why he's not putting up the same numbers that he did several years ago. You can't blame Washington for signing him to that contract with the way he was playing for the first couple of years after he joined the league, but it's definitely becoming an issue now. Trade him to a team that knows how to properly coach/manage its players and he might turn things around.

#7 Hatethedrake!

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:04 AM

Teams know how to play him now and he will not adapt his game. He stays out for too long on the ice and is out of gas. He has not seemed to be the same player after the 2010 Olympics where Team Russia crapped the bed. He seems too young to be washed up. But something is wrong in Washington. That team just doesn't seem to care anymore. I thought it was Boudreau but clearly it's much more than that. Semin, Backstrom and Green seem to have no leadership in them and Ovie seems to have lost the passion to play he had in his first 4 years in the league. Still, talent like his doesn't just disappear overnight. That's the difference between teams like the Caps and the Red Wings. Holland and company know that it's the team which comes first not the player. Players who are unwilling to adhere to that code do not stay. The Caps have been too loyal to the wrong guys. I mean when you have a slug like Semin (who has all world talent) and he gets away with being a lazy ass each game, that has to affect his teammates. Where is the accountability? There is none. You are what you accept. The Caps have accepted being a bunch of lazy asses who don't care and unfortunately this is how Ovechkin plays right now.

Edited by Hatethedrake!, 21 February 2012 - 09:05 AM.

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#8 cusimano_brothers

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:11 AM

He has to realize that he can't get every Head Coach fired.

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#9 xtrememachine1

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:16 AM

He's not passed his prime, but he needs to be on a different team to turn it around. I think his stay in Washington has run its course. They had bad coaching (maybe they still do), Semin is lazy, Green's injured all the time, they haven't really found their goalie. I think Ovie's thinking to himself, "Why kill myself when we lose in the playoffs anyways?" I mean, that's a lousy attitude to have, but seriously the guy has been great for years, played great in the playoffs and the team still can't make it beyond the 2nd round for a variety of reasons. I'm not saying that kind of attitude is right considering how much they're paying him, but you can't blame him for feeling that way.

He needs to be on a different team, a team he believes that he can win on, but with the way he's playing and how much money he's making and how long his contract is, I don't see him being able to be moved.

#10 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:37 AM

At 26, I doubt he's past his prime. But it seems like he has a terrible attitude and work ethic, especially for a captain.

From the outside it looks like when things stop coming easily to him, he either stops caring or stops working hard or both.

It must be frustrating to be a Caps fan and have to watch two incredibly talented players like Ovie and Semin sulking and screwing around instead of manning up. It's like Fedorov on his bad nights, times two.

#11 dat's sick

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:39 AM

I'm not sure if he definitely passed his prime, however this is why I laughed at people who a couple of years ago said "Imagine how good Ovie will be when he hits his prime!" as if he'd just keep on improving and would eventually score 90 goals a season. Players, people, careers, very rarely work that way. And especially not for players like Ovechkin.

Ever since entering the league he's been one-dimensional and he has done NOTHING to change that. When he's not scoring he's not much use to a team to be honest. He's not a playmaker and he sure as hell can't play defense. Looking at him now and comparing him to a few years ago you can't see much of a difference honestly, except maybe he's lost a few percent of his explosiveness, speed and ungodly stamina. And other teams have adapted to how he plays. That's all it takes for a guy that doesn't have a lot in the way of 'hockey smarts' to go from being a superstar to being almost mediocre. He's predictable, always has been. It's just that in the past he was unstoppable even though everyone knew what he was going to do.

Maybe there's some truth to the steroid rumors, maybe he wasn't happy with Bodreau and isn't happy with Hunter. I'm sure he's hurting with Backstrom not being around to set him up for open nets. Maybe he hasn't been working as hard during the last few offseasons because he's not as motivated, having a long, lucrative contract and being a huge star.

But it's really something, the way he's gone off the radar this year. Rarely ever do you see his name on NHL.com, compared to every day 2 seasons ago. Crosby vs. Ovechkin discussions of years past seem ridiculous now, even though Sid's career could be over. Even putting Ovie ahead of Datsyuk would be insanity at this point. I'm sure he can bounce back and do better than he is now, but unless he starts really working on becoming a better all-around player I don't think he'll ever dominate the league again.

#12 puckbags

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:41 AM

He's 26, passed his prime?

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#13 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:41 AM

I'm not sure if he definitely passed his prime, however this is why I laughed at people who a couple of years ago said "Imagine how good Ovie will be when he hits his prime!" as if he'd just keep on improving and would eventually score 90 goals a season. Players, people, careers, very rarely work that way. And especially not for players like Ovechkin.

Ever since entering the league he's been one-dimensional and he has done NOTHING to change that. When he's not scoring he's not much use to a team to be honest. He's not a playmaker and he sure as hell can't play defense. Looking at him now and comparing him to a few years ago you can't see much of a difference honestly, except maybe he's lost a few percent of his explosiveness, speed and ungodly stamina. And other teams have adapted to how he plays. That's all it takes for a guy that doesn't have a lot in the way of 'hockey smarts' to go from being a superstar to being almost mediocre. He's predictable, always has been. It's just that in the past he was unstoppable even though everyone knew what he was going to do.

Maybe there's some truth to the steroid rumors, maybe he wasn't happy with Bodreau and isn't happy with Hunter. I'm sure he's hurting with Backstrom not being around to set him up for open nets. Maybe he hasn't been working as hard during the last few offseasons because he's not as motivated, having a long, lucrative contract and being a huge star.

But it's really something, the way he's gone off the radar this year. Rarely ever do you see his name on NHL.com, compared to every day 2 seasons ago. Crosby vs. Ovechkin discussions of years past seem ridiculous now, even though Sid's career could be over. Even putting Ovie ahead of Datsyuk would be insanity at this point. I'm sure he can bounce back and do better than he is now, but unless he starts really working on becoming a better all-around player I don't think he'll ever dominate the league again.

Well said.

I think that's the heart of it right there.

#14 Rivalred

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 09:43 AM

He lacks motivation and discipline...
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#15 Heroes of Hockeytown

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:01 AM

I'm not sure if he definitely passed his prime, however this is why I laughed at people who a couple of years ago said "Imagine how good Ovie will be when he hits his prime!" as if he'd just keep on improving and would eventually score 90 goals a season. Players, people, careers, very rarely work that way. And especially not for players like Ovechkin. <snip>

I agree with pretty much all you wrote. When Ovechkin first came into the league I was enamored with his exciting and explosive play. I would see him cherry-picking and floating on the backcheck but figured these were things he would pick up, while still have that incredible speed and shot.

He never picked up any of those things, and the moves that used to score him so many goals don't work anymore, not just for him but for everybody. The league is a much different one than it was six years ago when he came on the scene, defenses have adjusted to the speed and openness of the game. It seems like Ovechkin is unwilling to adapt.
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#16 VM1138

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:03 AM

You don't play as amazing as Ovechkin did for years and then just suddenly drop off the face of the earth. Clearly something is wrong. There's no way he's past his prime. I would take him in a heartbeat.

Keep in mind, too, that he tried to change his play to a more defensive style earlier this year.

Edited by VM1138, 21 February 2012 - 10:04 AM.

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#17 kipwinger

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:25 AM

Teams know how to play him now and he will not adapt his game. He stays out for too long on the ice and is out of gas. He has not seemed to be the same player after the 2010 Olympics where Team Russia crapped the bed. He seems too young to be washed up. But something is wrong in Washington. That team just doesn't seem to care anymore. I thought it was Boudreau but clearly it's much more than that. Semin, Backstrom and Green seem to have no leadership in them and Ovie seems to have lost the passion to play he had in his first 4 years in the league. Still, talent like his doesn't just disappear overnight. That's the difference between teams like the Caps and the Red Wings. Holland and company know that it's the team which comes first not the player. Players who are unwilling to adhere to that code do not stay. The Caps have been too loyal to the wrong guys. I mean when you have a slug like Semin (who has all world talent) and he gets away with being a lazy ass each game, that has to affect his teammates. Where is the accountability? There is none. You are what you accept. The Caps have accepted being a bunch of lazy asses who don't care and unfortunately this is how Ovechkin plays right now.


I thought this exact same thing when I saw that they were healthy scratching Mike Knuble recently. Green and Backstrom are ALWAYS hurt, Semin is lazy as hell, and Ovechkin doesn't want to be a team guy. Yet, year after year they are heralded as the saviors of the team while hard working, solid hockey players like Chimera, Laich, and Knuble are perpetually left to play second banana. I think George McPhee is a terrible GM whose moderate success is based off of his preference for drafting and keeping players based on skill level above and before any other consideration. Fire McPhee, blow this team up and replace the dead weight with team guys, and make sure Dale Hunter drills it into Ovie's head that he's a winger and not a center, and the team (and Ovechkin's numbers) get back to where they should be.

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#18 Crymson

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:54 AM

I'm not saying that kind of attitude is right considering how much they're paying him, but you can't blame him for feeling that way.


We absolutely can and SHOULD blame a player for feeling that way, especially if it's affecting his play. Ovechkin's attitude is entirely in his control. Ovechkin loses in the second round all the time? Poor baby. What about those teams that only make it to the first round? Would you say "I don't blame them!" if they had horrible attitudes? What about the teams that are always on the edge of the bubble?

If he has a bad attitude, it's his own fault. And it's not excusable.

Edited by Crymson, 21 February 2012 - 11:01 AM.


#19 Jocke

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:59 AM

He lacks motivation and discipline...


.. or confidence.

#20 dat's sick

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:44 AM

I thought this exact same thing when I saw that they were healthy scratching Mike Knuble recently. Green and Backstrom are ALWAYS hurt, Semin is lazy as hell, and Ovechkin doesn't want to be a team guy. Yet, year after year they are heralded as the saviors of the team while hard working, solid hockey players like Chimera, Laich, and Knuble are perpetually left to play second banana. I think George McPhee is a terrible GM whose moderate success is based off of his preference for drafting and keeping players based on skill level above and before any other consideration. Fire McPhee, blow this team up and replace the dead weight with team guys, and make sure Dale Hunter drills it into Ovie's head that he's a winger and not a center, and the team (and Ovechkin's numbers) get back to where they should be.

I'm sorry? Green yes, but Backstrom, previous to these post-concussion symptoms he's plagued by (like so many other great players) I believe he had barely missed a game in his career. He's also imo the best player on the team. He can pass, he can score, he plays pretty decent defense.. they're definitely missing him as a team, and it's probably atleast one reason Ovie's production is so low this year.





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