The Detroit Red Wings are going from Connor McDavid to Alex Ovechkin. Is that out of the frying pan and into the fire, or vice versa?
Handling McDavid and the previously 9-1 Edmonton Oilers by a 4-2 count on Tuesday, the Red Wings made a statement. They’ve already beaten Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals 3-2 on the road. In that game, Detroit rallied from a 2-0 deficit.
Adding another triumph at the expense of Ovi and the Caps would be punctuating the improved play of this season’s Red Wings with an exclamation point.
Ovechkin A Different Challenge For Red Wings
Certainly, McDavid and Ovechkin present a challenge to opposing defensive structure. However, each is a unqiue challenge all its own.
“They’re different, him and Connor McDavid,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Connor McDavid, you have to be aware of his speed. You have to really start defending him in the O-zone.
Sergei Ovechkin, elite goal scorer just like his dad. pic.twitter.com/2g8aKnahQw
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 7, 2021
“Where I think with Alex, it’s more once you enter your own zone you have to know where he’s at on the ice all of the time. You can’t give him a millisecond, or otherwise he’s getting his shot off and every shot has a chance to go in.”
In 28 career games against the Red Wings, Ovechkin has netted 20 goals. He scored in his first career game against the Red Wings on December 9, 2005. Ovi also netted a tally in their most recent meeting on October 27th.
Ovi Still Looming Large
At the age of 36, Ovechkin is still delivering – and we don’t mean the pizzas he dropped off Wednesday to beat writers at the Capitals’ practice facility.
He leads the NHL with 11 goals. Ovechkin is also third in the league with 21 points.
Just like always, he’s looming large over the opposition.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) November 10, 2021
“I remember when I was an assistant my first year in the NHL I could not believe how big he was,” Blashill recalled. “He’s way bigger when you see him on the ice at ice level than you realize on TV. He’s a huge, huge, strong person.
“He still plays with the same passion that he did back then, and that’s probably now 10-11 years ago, and probably the same passion that he did when he came into the league. But yet he’s gotten better over time without a doubt.”
Ovechkin and former Red Wings right-winger Brett Hull are deadlocked at fourth on the NHL all-time goals list. Each is showing 741 tallies nex to their name.