Alex Ovechkin is ‘really adaptable’, Peter Laviolette says, ‘shouting’ in locker room

Peter Laviolette Simply over midway by way of his third season answerable for the Washington Capitals he hasn’t signed previous this 12 months. The veteran bench coach has arrived in D.C. in 2020, teaching a veteran Cubs group led by a residing legend in captaincy. Alex Ovechkin.

Beneath Laviolette, the Capitals had no post-season success, however noticed loads of private milestones from Ovechkin. Throughout the 2021-22 marketing campaign, the Nice Eight compiled their greatest single-season level whole (90) because the 2009-10 season. Ovechkin added 104 targets to his spectacular profession whole. Ovi went from ninth to second on the NHL goalscoring record. In December 2022, Ovechkin scored his 800th profession aim through a hat-trick towards the Chicago Blackhawks and handed Gordie Howe with two targets towards the Winnipeg Jets.

The partnership between Laviolette and Ovechkin was mutually useful. Throughout Interview on 106.7 The Fan’s Sports activities lovers WednesdayLa Follette talked concerning the specifics of that relationship and what it is like coaching the sport icon.

“What I discovered about Alex – he is a prime participant, he is a star, there’s an opportunity he might end first total, [is that] “There are issues that must be fastened inside the recreation and I discovered Alex to be actually adaptable,” mentioned Laviolette. “To deliver him as much as discuss one thing, speak concerning the lineup, discuss his recreation, discuss what I see right here, what can we do to repair this, or present him one thing the place he is been actually good. I feel he is actually relatable. He brings power virtually each night time.” .

One nice current instance of this type of power got here when the Caps bounced again from a 3-0 holeshot towards the New York Islanders on Monday.

Ovechkin hit a giant hit on Islanders ahead JG Pageau and bodily kicked the remainder of the group and the Caps scored 4 unanswered targets to win in extra time. Laviolette and different cap gamers I credit score the strike as the sport’s turning level.

“Yeah, there was quite a lot of whack within the recreation,” mentioned Laviolette. “It was a division recreation. You knew it was going to be bodily however I do not suppose we had been bodily till Ovi received this huge hit after which we began hitting and competing a bit extra, taking part in sooner. [We] I turned the puck loads within the first interval and there’s no doubt that always one thing can excite a group. A aim, a save, a giant penalty, or on this case, an Ovi strike appeared to get us going.

“We had been flat,” he continued. “Within the locker room, you need extra and also you hearth up and get fired up, he is a man who will get on the market and responds. I feel that is considered one of his strengths, and he acknowledges it as nicely. He realizes he can change the sport with the best way he performs.”

Ovechkin is the league’s second-leading all-time scorer with 810 profession targets, simply 5 factors behind even Stan Mikita’s Fifteenth-most level whole in NHL historical past. Teaching a participant with that type of historical past underneath their belt in any sport generally is a daunting job.

Junkies questioned aloud how Laviolette coached Ovechkin and whether or not he was yelling at a certain participant, the primary poll for the Hockey Corridor of Famer.

“I scream generally,” mentioned Laviolette. “I yell sometimes. If we do not play nicely. He is the captain too, proper? He is the proverbial man and I feel he does an unimaginable job with that. However, generally I get pissed off and I am going to scream. Generally he yells. He is a yell.”

He continued, “He’s a person who bears this accountability as a result of he’s the captain of the group.” “I am impressed. He is chasing Wayne Gretzky which is unimaginable, however what’s much more superb to me is that he was one of the bodily match hockey gamers within the historical past of the sport. Give it some thought. Not solely might he be the best scorer of all time, however he’s [also] Possibly it is going to be greater within the beats or there are within the prime two or three. You possibly can add this mixture and this component of the best way somebody performs the sport and its sturdiness. It is unimaginable. I feel it is unimaginable.”

The Capitals are at present three factors above the Pittsburgh Penguins on the prime Wild Card spot within the East. They’re additionally solely three factors behind the New York Rangers for third place within the Metropolitan Division.

Ovechkin is a good motive for this. The 37-year-old winger leads the group in each targets (30) and factors (52). He’s at present on tempo to attain 52 targets and rating one other 90 factors on the season.

“It is nice,” completed Laviolette. “When your group is not exhibiting up there are leaders within the room. You possibly can all the time go to the leaders and say, ‘Let’s go right here, we’ve to begin.’ It is a veteran group. Management is nice inside our room.”

Banner picture: Alan Dobbins / RMNB

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