Wings brace for another round against Ovechkin
Detroit — Maybe that was the trick — just let Alex Ovechkin shoot the puck until the point of pure exhaustion.
Or something like that.
The Washington Capitals star had an astonishing 15 shots on net Nov. 10 when the Red Wings and goalie Petr Mrazek shut out the Capitals, 1-0.
Ovechkin was a bit motivated heading into the evening.
Remember, the Red Wings honored Sergei Fedorov that evening for his Hall of Fame induction. Fedorov was obviously in the house, and Ovechkin was tied with Fedorov for most goals by a Russian-born player in the NHL (483).
Ovechkin was intent on passing Fedorov last week against the Red Wings, but Mrazek and the Red Wings wouldn’t allow it.
And, incidentally, Ovechkin remains stuck at 483 goals.
So what’s the strategy coach Jeff Blashill has in store for Wednesday against Ovechkin? Try for under 15 shots?
“We’re thinking maybe 20,” said Blashill, tongue planted firmly in cheek, after Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime victory in Ottawa. “We liked the way that one worked, so we’ll see.”
Ovechkin’s former teammate in Washington, defenseman Mike Green, said Ovechkin usually will get his fair share of shots, no matter what the opposition attempts to do to contain him.
“Playing with him I don’t know what other teams did or said,” Green said. “They tried everything and he would still have chances. We talked about it before the game (last week) and he still ended up getting 15 shots.
“He plays such a unique game. He kind of finds the openings. He thinks the game a little different. Maybe that creates all those chances because he’s maybe a little bit out of position, which for him he’s is in position..
“We’ve just got to try to eliminate his time with the puck and eliminate (linemate Nicklas) Backstrom that’s going to give it to him. He’s the key behind that.”
Ovechkin and Green appeared to get into a few individual battles last week.
“It’s just the competition,” Green said. “You’ve got to play the game hard. I knew that he’d be coming a little bit. That’s just his character. I made sure I gave it back to him.”
Jurco sent to GR
Unable to crack the lineup in recent weeks, the Red Wings sent Tomas Jurco to minor league affiliate Grand Rapids on a conditioning assignment.
A conditioning assignment can last as much as two weeks. The Griffins have six games over the next two weeks, which could be a great opportunity for Jurco to get reacquainted with game action.
Jurco, 22, has played only four games this season with one assist, two shots on net, and four penalty minutes while averaging 10 minutes of ice time per game.
Who did Blashill feel was one of the Red Wings’ best players in Tuesday’s victory in Ottawa?
How about defenseman Jakub Kindl, who was mostly a healthy scratch under coach Mike Babcock, but who could be getting a second life under Blashill.
“It might have been his best game of the season in a lot of ways,” Blashill said. “He was strong defensively, strong on the puck, broke out the puck great.
“He’s real aggressive offensively, but in a good way, not taking too many chances and creating opportunities.
“He did a real good job.”
Kindl played nearly 18 minutes and had a team-high six shots against the Senators. For the season, Kindl leads Red Wings defensemen with two goals (he has five points).
Capitals at Red Wings
Faceoff: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
TV/radio: NBC Sports Network/97.1
Outlook: The Red Wings have won the lone game between the teams this season. … LW Alex Ovechkin (eight goals) gets the headlines but C Evgeny Kuznetsov (12 assists, team-high 17 points) is also developing into an offensive force.