Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Report Card: Alex Ovechkin

Well, he probably have sensitive skin, no?
Today I give you the twenty-ninth and final installment of my "Report Card" series, as I conclude my evaluation of each Capital throughout this past regular season and playoffs.  Today's player is dynamic team captain Alex Ovechkin, who finished his sixth year in the organization this season.

Season Summary: Ovechkin played in 79 games this year, recording 32 goals, 53 assists, a +24 rating, and 41 penalty minutes during his first full season as captain.  This was by far his worst statistical season since joining the league in 2005-06; his 32 goals were a career low by 14 and his 85 points were a career low by seven.  For the first time in his career, we saw long offensive droughts from Ovechkin throughout the first half of the season and he never really had that breakout game that we have been accustomed to seeing from him.  He got better as the season wore along, as it would have been a tall task to be as bad as he was for someone of his talent early, but nevertheless was not very good by his standards. Grade: B-
Role Play: As a three-time players' MVP, two-time Hart Trophy winner, one-time Art Ross Trophy winner, and two time Rocket Richard Trophy winner, Alex Ovechkin is expected to be at or near the top of the point scoring list each year. He is expected to be at or near the top of the goals list every year.  Barring injury, he is expected to be a nominee for the Hart Trophy.  Ovechkin did none of these things this year.  He struggled pretty much all year by his standards, particularly during his awful start, which I wrote about above.  The team was able to deal with it for the most part because he played better defense, but Ovie isn't being paid 13 million bucks a season to play defense.  He needs to be better offensively, period. Grade: C+
Playoffs: Ovechkin's playoffs were very good; he had by far the best playoffs of any Capital.  He led the team in postseason scoring with five goals and five assists, and compiled a -1 rating and 10 PIMs.  Throughout the postseason, especially against the Rangers, Ovechkin looked dominant for long stretches and scored a few highlight-reel goals, which was a nice improvement over last season.  Alot of people called him out for the playoff sweep, saying it was his fault; I think this could not be more ludicrous, as Ovie showed how much he cared with his effort.  That being said, the result was still a sweep in the second round.  That has to change. Grade: B+
Future Potential: Ovechkin, who will be 26 when the season starts, has (hopefully) not yet reached the prime of his career.  He is still a physical specimen and he is still one of the world's most talented players, but his year this season was a huge setback.  The decline in numbers wasn't that big a deal because DC still found a way to win, but then the playoffs happened.  He has pretty much all the individual accolades  a player could want, but now, only one thing is left.  That silver chalice.  His ability to use his world of talent to get it is how he will be remembered. Grade: A

Well, that's it for Report Cards.  Time for the draft!

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