Just last year the eight seed Montreal Canadiens held Alexander Ovechkin to just one assist over the final two games of the series. It is reasonable to say that Montreal provided a blue print to the rest of league as Ovechkin has produced career lows in goals and scoring this season. During one stretch he had just two goals in 19 games played.
The 6-foot-2, 235 pound Ovechkin has tremendous speed, strength, and arguably the best offensive skills the game has ever seen. However, there are some solid defensive techniques that have prevented Ovechkin from using is complete scoring arsenal.
Teams are ‘Gapping Up’ on him and this means that instead of defending puck carriers at the blue line they are instead defending the red line. This technique in combination with solid back checking as he comes out of the Capitals zone prevents him from gathering top speed and gaining the middle of the ice where his athleticism overwhelms any defenseman in the league. If you are looking to make a few NHL picks The Rangers have the personnel and depth to make this happen in this series.