In the final minutes of regulation between the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals last night, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin did not take the ice. He didn’t skate during overtime and did not participate in the shootout.
After the game Capitals coach Peter Laviolette didn’t have anything to report on Ovechkin even stating: “I don’t even know what is wrong”. Today we found out (sort of), what was wrong with Ovie.
According to Samantha Pell, Ovechkin has a lower-body injury and is now day-to-day. Hopefully, he can be back soon, but there is no doubt, this is a big advantage for the Islanders as they face the Capitals twice in the next four days.
Ovechkin sidelined is a big advantage for the New York Islanders
In 62 career games against the Islanders, Ovechkin has 40 goals and 61 points. Throughout his career, he’s been a thorn in the Islanders side. Specifically on the power play.
Even though Ovechkin hasn’t been that effective against the Isles this season ( 4GP, 1G, 2A), not having him as a trigger option on the power play is a relief. Even if Ovie barely moves on the man advantage he’s a constant threat. It’s why a penalty killer is always a stick’s length away from the Great 8. And even then that’s sometimes not enough.
Look, the Capitals are still a good team even without Ovechkin on the ice. But he’s a big part of their offense and power play. With two games against the Caps left on the season, it’s possible Ovechkin misses both games.
The last two games between these rivals have finished 1-0 in regular with a goal scored six minutes from the end of the third period and 1-0 in the shootout. It’s clear that these teams match up well against one another. Any marginal advantage could turn the tide in one team’s favor.
Losing Ovechkin is no marginal advantage for the Isles it’s a big one and one that could (and I stress could) help them get a win or two over the Caps over their next two games.