Alex Ovechkin is a ball of energy when he is on the ice, and he energizes his teammates in the process.
Whether it's crushing unfortunate opponents in the open ice, peppering beleaguered goaltenders with his dizzying array of shots or smashing his 6, 3", 230-pound frame into the Verizon Center plexiglass after yet another goal, Alex Ovechkin's teammates constantly feed off their captain's boundless energy.
As the undisputed face of the Capitals franchise, Ovechkin was anointed as team captain on January 5, 2010, according to Capitals.com. But Ovechkin has had to grow into the role and has had severe growing pains along the way.
He has disrupted team chemistry with his comments. After the Caps' 2011-12 season ended, Ovechkin told Katie Carrera of The Washington Post that "the leaders in this group have to be together." Ovechkin added, “I don’t know how to explain better, but sometimes you don’t have to be jealous….I don’t want to say it was a jealous situation for us, but sometimes you just have to be a group together.”
He was dubbed a "coach killer" by none other than Mike Milbury of CBC Sports, a frequent and vocal critic of Ovechkin. The reputation of coach killer is difficult to live down, even if unfairly earned.
Most importantly, Ovechkin has not led his team to the Stanley Cup Final, or to the Conference Final for that matter. In fact, last year I pointed out five reasons Ovechkin was never captain material for the Capitals.
So far, Capitals general manager George McPhee has not read the piece.