Capitals' Ovechkin held pointless in 5 straight games for 1st time in career
As the saying goes, you can't stop him - you can only hope to contain him.
And that's exactly what has happened to Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin over the past five games, marking the longest stretch of his career wherein he failed to register a single point.
Ovechkin got off to a red-hot start this season, with five goals, one assist and 24 shots on goals in the Capitals' first four games. In five games since that time - including Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings - Ovechkin recorded neither a goal nor an assist.
He did show signs of life against the Red Wings, registering as many shots on goal (seven) as he had in the previous four games combined. Naysayers should also note Ovechkin has a positive plus-minus rating after an ugly mark of minus-35 a year ago. The advanced stats crowd will also cite his positive possession numbers as an indicator that he's on the right track.
As electric a forward as the NHL has ever seen, Ovechkin boasts 427 goals and 393 assists in 688 career games. It's good for an average of 1.2 points per game. While that production level remained consistent early in the season, it's tailed off to the point where a five-game drought is certainly noteworthy.
For the time being, his track record proves there's nothing to worry about, and the drought is likely a set of growing pains as the previously free-wheeling Capitals continue to find some balance in the midst of new head coach Barry Trotz's more defensive-minded system. Ovechkin also finds himself playing apart from longtime linemate Nicklas Backstrom, another adjustment that may be affecting his regular approach to the game.
At any rate, Ovechkin can put up points (specifically goals) in bunches, and he could very well get his 2014-15 output back to his traditional level with a couple of big games in the coming days.
Until then, the microscope will only continue to zoom in until he hits the score sheet once again.