Alexander Ovechkin isn’t off to one of his best starts to a season, although he still ranks sixth in both goals (7) and points (15) in the NHL.
Part of the reason the Capitals’ super sniper isn’t higher in the standings is that two of Washington’s 12 games were played against the Bruins and their stifling league-best defense.
Tonight, the Bruins and Caps meet again.
In the two Boston victories over Washington this season, Ovechkin hasn’t registered a single point. That’s a credit not just to Zdeno Chara, but to Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ference and Dennis Seidenberg’s work on the blue line, Tim Thomas’ play between the pipes, as well as the defensive work of a several of the forwards. In fact, historically the Bruins have done one of the better jobs — compared to the rest of the league — of keeping the “Great 8″ under wraps.
In 22 games vs. Boston, Ovechkin now has totaled 11 goals. That’s an average of 0.5 goals per game. Meanwhile, games against the other 28 NHL teams, Ovechkin has accumulated 265 goals in 386 games — an average of 0.69 goals per contest.
The Bruins will be tracking Ovechkin and his teammates around the rink tonight starting at 7 p.m. The Caps have won three of their last four, with Ovechkin posting 3-4-7 totals in those contests.
It might be a little tougher to keep an eye on Ovechkin if head coach Bruce Boudreau keeps him on a stacked first line with center Nicklas Backstrom and winger Alexander Semin. However, that just might be the type of test the Bruins are hoping for considering how easy things have been for them lately.