Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz said he is not concerned about Alex Ovechkin's four-game scoring drought because he is still playing the game the right way, Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post reports.
Ovechkin has not recorded a point during the past four games and has gotten had seven shots on goal. It is only the fifth time he has gone four games between points in his career, and he has never had a five game drought, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
For the season, Ovechkin has five goals and one assist. Trotz said he is confident Ovechkin will bounce back quickly.
“I think one of the things you have to understand, I think Ovi’s a lot more mature,” Trotz said. “I think he’s going to handle it the right way. He’s playing the right way. You see him blocking shots, defensively he’s way better in his commitment level there. On the forecheck he’s using the body, separating people. One of the things we talked about today is just that when things are coming a little bit not easy, you really have to have detail and your spacing has to be really good because a lot of times you end up in those one on one situations.”
The Capitals have lost two of their past three, and Trotz has made line changes to try to spark the team. Ovechkin will now be paired with rookie Andre Burakovsky instead of veteran Nicklas Backstrom.
“We just have to work to get a chance to score goals,” Ovechkin said. ‘If we do the right things in the neutral zone, defensive zone, we’re going to have opportunities to create chance in the offensive zone as well.”
Ovechkin had 79 points last season and has led the league in goals each of the past two seasons.
Washington has opened the season 4-2-2 and is in third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals host the Detroit Red Wings (4-2-2) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.
- Paul Palladino