Ovi seems happy, no? (Photo credit: Alex Brandon)
During the first few weeks of the season when the Caps were in dead freaking last, it seemed like RMNB couldn’t go a day without getting a poopy comment about Alex Ovechkin: Ovi’s washed up this, Ovi should be stripped of his captaincy that. Suffice to say, those comments have completely disappeared.
Ovi’s scored 18 times in his last 16 games, taken over the league lead in goals, and helped push the Capitals into first place in the Southeast division. On Tuesday against the Leafs, Ovechkin continued his amazing play, scoring once, putting five shots on net, and doing countless other little things that didn’t show up on the scoresheet.
Like in the first period. After Jay McClement boarded Nicklas Backstrom head-first into the boards, Ovi skated furiously towards the Leafs center and violently hugged his face. Once again, another sweaty swarm of hockey hate erupted and, just like the last time, the same message was sent: don’t mess with our Swedes.
GIFs by welshhockeyfan.
Later in the second period, Ovechkin got fancy, creating a scoring chance out of thin air. The Russian machine put the puck through the legs of Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner, deked, and then almost scored on Ben Scrivens.
GIF by welshhockeyfan.
Finally, Ovi did what he’s been doing for the last two months: scoar moar goals. On the power play, Mike Green found Ovechkin wide open at the top of the circles and the Russian dynamo — in Alan May’s words — got out the elephant gun and went top shelf.
Look at Ovi. He’s just having fun out there.
O-V O-V twitter.com/nour_ishing/st…
— Nour (@nour_ishing) April 17, 2013
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen some of the best hockey out of Alex Ovechkin in his career. He’s being a leader, he’s capitalizing on his chances, and he’s shooting the puck more again. It’s why I think if the Capitals hold on to the division lead and enter the playoffs as the number three seed, Ovi should win the Hart trophy.
Now, Count, sing us home.