When Alexander Ovechkin returns to NHL action tonight against the New York Rangers, he is likely to play a different role on the Capitals' power play, reports Corey Masisak.
Before missing six games with an "upper body strain," Ovechkin played the power play point with Mike Green. With Ovechkin out, Brendan Morrison has filled his spot, and the Capitals' power play has been operating at a torrid 46.2% success rate. Masisak also notes that with Morrison playing the point position, the Capitals have surrendered fewer shorthanded opportunities.
With Ovechkin returning, the Capitals face an interesting power play lineup conundrum. They do not want to keep Ovechkin, who scored 19 power play goals last season, off the unit, but at the same time, they don't want to risk cooling off the power play unit and reverting back to giving up numerous shorthanded chances. It would seem that Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau is trying to find a happy medium, skating Ovechkin up front on the power play with Morrison and Green continuing to play the point.
I was just trying to do some different things because you knew what the story was going to be - The power play is doing so well, where do you put Alex? So we're practicing different stuff, and then we'll figure out what the best situation is for him.
Ovechkin seems to like the change as well.
Mike and [Morrison] right now play well. They control the puck. It gives us more space, especially Mike and [Morrison] upstairs, but if I have a chance to shoot over there, I might have a better opportunity to score goals.