Especially the way Ovi is barely playing. I get that he ain't the greatest defender in the world, but come on. You can't just hope to beat the Rangers by playing defense only. At some point they have to score and he is a dominant offensive player who is being taken out of the game by his own team's system. Find some way to hide the guy on defense so he can get some offensive rhythm going
I'm a Caps fan who has watched about 3/4 of their games the past five years. I think you overestimate Ovie big-time.
Pure and simple, he just has lousy hockey sense. He is extremely talented, but he has become too predictable on offense. He is also not as fit and explosive as he was in his prime. He only has a few moves, and teams have figured out how to defend them. The blame lies on Ovechkin, not on the coaches or the system.
As much as I detest Crosby and Malkin, I'll give them credit for having picked up new offensive skills over the years. Ovie hasn't to the extent expected of a top 10 player making 10 million a year for the next decade.
His shot is hard, but not all that accurate. Even in his prime (when IMHO his accuracy was a lot better), he relied on getting tons of shots on goal (consistently one of the leaders on shot attempts). Many times those shots would be taken from bad locations or timed badly, leaving the team exposed to odd man rushes.
Not the greatest defender? I say maybe the worst defender in the entire NHL. He constantly loafs and coasts on defense, has poor positioning and stick fundamentals. He get inspired on defense maybe 10% of his shifts. You can't "hide a guy on defense" at the upper levels of hockey. It's a team game, and good teams find the weakness. Like exposing a defender with a broken stick.
Backstrom is by far the Caps best player. Semin is by far their best sniper.