Ovechkin seeing less ice

Ovechkin seeing less ice
October 19, 2011, 1:39 pm
Share This Post

Since his first game with the Capitals back in 2005, Alex Ovechkin has led the club in scoring. Hes also logged more ice time than any other forward by a large margin.

That is beginning to change. Through five games this season, Ovechkin is tied for seventh on the Caps in scoring with just three points (1 goal, 2 assists). But even more telling is his ice time.

Ovechkin is averaging 21.4 shifts and 19:25 of ice time per game. It marks the first time in his NHL career that he is below the 21-minute mark.

By comparison, Ovechkin logged 21:21 of ice time last season,

In 2009-10 he was at 21:47

In 2008-09 he was at 23:00.

In 2007-08 he was at 23:06.

In 2006-07 he was at 21:23.

And in his rookie year he was at 21:37.

So, whats the point? Apparently, coach Bruce Boudreau believes that when it comes to Ovechkin, less may be more.

It is another indicator of Boudreaus team-first approach to coaching this season, in which every player including Ovechkin will need to earn his ice time.

Its a trend worth watching as the season unfolds.