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Capitals swept: no playoff points for Alex Ovechkin
Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Alex Ovechkin was once the NHL’s most dangerous maverick. But let’s just say that his 2023-2024 season reminded us that no one can avoid the effects of the passage of time.

In 79 games this season, Ovi scored 31 goals. That’s not bad in itself… but by the Russian’s standards, it’s low.

However, he finished the regular season well, which led us to believe that he could enter the playoffs with momentum. But as we saw against the Rangers, he wasn’t exactly a factor. During his team’s sweep, which became official yesterday, he didn’t get a point.

But what’s crazy is how Ovi doesn’t seem to be the go-to guy anymore.

In fact, six Caps forwards played more than him (15:26) yesterday. What’s more, after two periods, he had played just eight minutes and 38 seconds and was his team’s least-used player at even strength. I beg your pardon?

The logical explanation is that the main player is currently hiding an injury. After all, he can’t play like that if he’s healthy, can he?

Can he?

In any case, the main player takes the blame. The man who really didn’t look like he was giving it his all on the ice doesn’t want to make excuses publicly and says that if the club lost, it’s his fault.

He may say he’s proud of his team, but the Capitals are the only team without a playoff win this season.

True, the Rangers were too strong, but in the end, the Capitals were never completely downgraded looking at the score. The first game ended with three goals, but otherwise, it always ended with just one or two goals.

A net from the captain could have made the difference, but it never did.

Obviously, because the Caps made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, and that might not happen again for a few years, it’s legitimate to think that the big Russian has made the playoffs for the last time.

P.K. Subban may think that Spencer Carbery is taking the Capitals in the right direction, but the fact remains that I see Washington in the same boat as Pittsburgh: the club made or missed the playoffs by the skin of its teeth, but a rebuild will become necessary.

Speaking of the Capitals’ coach, it’s worth remembering that a few days ago he wasn’t afraid to say publicly that Ovechkin was struggling. It didn’t have the desired effect and Ovechkin didn’t get up at all.

I wonder how Ovi took it, deep down.

If the big veteran, who is 41 goals shy of Wayne Gretzky’s 894, were to get off to a bad start in his team’s upcoming season this fall, that would be the talk of the town, too.

In my opinion, he’ll be thinking about that scenario for a while this summer.

In gusto

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– The Alouettes took advantage of the Grey Cup.

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