Washington Capitals: Is It Time to Strip Ovie of His Captaincy?

Andy Campbell Correspondent IDecember 2, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 01:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals sits on the boards during a timeout in the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Verizon Center on December 1, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

One thing is clear. The Washington Capitals have had issues with leadership.  Was this a Bruce Boudreau issue or is it closer to the ice? 

The Caps were hoping that by sacking their coach they would have a fresh start.  However, after a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night, the team’s woes continue. 

Alexander Ovechkin is stuck in a rut and now the spotlight on him is blinding.  In order for the Caps to get their superstar rolling and back on a winning pattern, another drastic move may need to occur. 

It is time to ask the question, is the “C” on the wrong jersey?  Ovechkin is still an elite player, but let’s face it, he has never been able to lead the Caps past the second round of the playoffs. 

It should be generally understood around the NHL that a team’s captain does not have to be it’s biggest star.  Somehow, this concept has eluded the Washington organization.  With the pressure of success following the Boudreau firing, Ovechkin will be pressing and will perhaps put too much pressure on himself.  

Let your sniper be the sniper and enlist a solid two-way player as your new captain.  

No other player fits the bill better than Brooks Laich.  He is one of the more durable centers in the league, is liked by his teammates and his work ethic is second to none.  Not the go-to guy, but a solid locker room presence capable of steering this ship in the right direction. 

The Caps have found themselves dying on the vine and their season will be over in a heartbeat if they continue to slump.  Ovechkin is a pure offensive talent, but do you want your captain as the guy in the locker room with his tail between his legs?

While the Capitals still have time, it may be worth considering better leadership from the boys that do the work.