As was indicated in reports in the Russian media that we had translated last week, Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin returned to the Washington area from Russia on Sunday evening and was on the ice for practice with his teammates this morning.
Afterwards, the local press gaggle -- which included Tarik el-Bashir of the Washington Post, Corey Masisack of the Washington Times, Lisa Hilary of CSN Washington and Jonathan Warner of WTOP -- descended on Ovechkin to pepper him with questions about his trip back to Russia to see his ailing grandfather. Among the topics of conversation: his take on Alexander Semin's interview with Puck Daddy where his Russian counterpart had some interesting things to say about Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby.
While some might say that Ovechkin's return is coming just in time in light of the 5-0 drubbing the team suffered on Saturday night against the Buffalo Sabres, the fact of the matter remains that the team's troubles with focus, team defense, goaltending and a power play that keeps misfiring all predated Ovechkin's departure.
To get the team's attention, head coach Bruce Boudreau called the team back to the ice for a mandatory and unscheduled Sunday morning practice immediately after the Buffalo debacle. Whether or not Boudreau succeeds in getting the team back on track, one things is for sure -- this is not the same Capitals team that played with such tremendous desperation down the stretch last season.
HT: Alex Ovetjkin.