What’s the Plan to Stop Ovechkin?
VOORHEES — What if the most obvious question is the wrong one for the Flyers?
How do you stop Alex Ovechkin?
The NHL’s top goal scorer is the most obvious weapon on the Washington Capitals’ top line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. On almost any other team, the other two players would be the top targets to defend.
“If you’re going to focus on Ovechkin, (Evgeny) Kuznetsov’s going to burn you,” Jake Voracek warned. “If you’re going to focus on Kuznetsov, then Backstrom’s going to burn you. You’ve just got to make sure we play to our depth. Our lines did a good job the last two, two and a half months.”
There’s no doubt the Capitals have depth. Kuznetsov actually has six more points than Ovechkin, and Backstrom finished with 70 points, one shy of Ovechkin. Still, the best weapon for the Capitals might be the best weapon in the whole league: Ovechkin in the left-wing circle on the power play with his stick waist high waiting for a pass.
“You try to take it away,” said Sean Couturier, the Flyers’ center who will be tasked with stopping the Washington captain. “You try to push him out further to the blueline, but he has such a dangerous shot that even from the blueline he can score.”