FanPost

Brian Campbell and Alex Ovechkin


Watching the Caps last night there was a play in first half of the game that reminded me of a game a few years back. In the play last night the puck was sent down the ice to left of the Florida goaltender that Brian Campbell chased down. As Campbell raced towards the puck, Alex Ovechkin was right on his heels and pulled up at the last second. On March 14, 2010, a very similar play occurred in the first period of a game with the Chicago Blackhawks, only instead of pulling up at the end, Ovechkin gave Campbell a quick tap from behind near the net that sent Campbell into the boards ending his season and sending Ovechkin to the locker room for the remainder of the game and to the press box for the next two games via suspension (I still contend if you watch the play, Campbell toe picks in the ice right as Ovi makes contact and the hit itself was not worthy of a major, let alone a suspension). Benenatti and Loughlin both commented on it as well, wondering if Campbell had a flashback. It seems to me that after that play in 2010, Ovechkin has been a different player. He scored only 6 goals the remainder of that season (plus 5 in the playoffs), but his former somewhat reckless style of play has gone away. Say what you will about his game and moves getting stale, but there was a time when a defenseman got in his way that he couldn't get around, he would just go over them. I don't think anyone could expect Ovechkin to play his entire career with the same level of physical intensity and not suffer for it in the long haul, but it seems the drop off has occurred extremely quickly. He still shows flashes of it from time to time with his hitting, but I rarely see him chasing a player hard into the corners anymore, and the few times he does, he seems to pull up a lot sooner than maybe he should. No one wants to see anyone get hurt on that type of play, and some caution needs to be exercised in those situations, but I feel like he has been overly cautious at some points. Does anyone else see that as somewhat of a turning point in his game? Thoughts?

If this FanPost is written by someone other than one of the blog's editors, the opinions expressed in it do not necessarily reflect those of this blog or SB Nation.

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