How hitting affects Alex Ovechkin’s scoring


However, as former Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau correctly indicated on “Hockey Night in Canada” before Game 2, “when [Ovechkin] starts focusing on hitting, he doesn’t focus on scoring.”


Once Ovechkin lines up more and more players in his crosshairs, his shots and goals per game start to decline.

Maybe Ovechkin hits out of frustration, maybe he is just setting a physical tone, but with Backstrom suspended for Thursday’s game after receiving a match penalty for cross checking Rich Peverley in Game 3, the Capitals are going to need Ovechkin’s scoring more than his hitting if they are to pull off the upset and advance past the first round.

Follow Neil on Twitter: @ngreenberg | Caps scoring chances

More from Washington Post Sports:

Bruins team president says Boston not targetting Backstrom

Backstrom says cross check was “stupid” move

— Capitals adjust lines in preparation for Backstrom’s absence

­— Backstrom suspended for Game 4 

— NHL roundup: Chicago’s Hossa released from hospital after Torres hit 

— Hunter: Bruins are targeting Backstrom’s head 

— Were the Bruins offsides on game-winner in Game 3? 

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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