He's been out two-and-a-half weeks since straining his shoulder in a Nov. 1 game. And it couldn't come at a better time. Although the Caps record is among the best in the game, tonight's match comes right after the Caps single-worst game of the season, a 5-2 stinker to the Jersey Devils.
Ovie's expected to rejoin the top line with Nick Backstrom and Chris Clark. With Mike Knuble out with a broken finger, Clark's gritty game is most similar; he'll be responsible for mucking things up, clearing space for his high-flying linemates. And if need be, getting a glove or two up in someone's kisser.
By and large the Caps played well when Ovie was out. The team got contributions from all over the ice. Coach Gabby hopes that they don't let up. Getting points from Ovie's nice. Getting points from the third and fourth lines though? Even better! Coach told the Post, "I hope the feeling is not, okay, 'Alex is in the lineup, let's let him do it.'"
Ovie's sure to be like a caged tiger tonight, flying all over the ice. We'll know how well his shoulder is feeling by his first shift. If he's going well, expect him to launch about three flying body checks, to spin around a few times, and lob a few shots on net.
And if a few of 'em go in, even better.