Alex Ovechkin should be the MVP of the NHL over Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates said Tuesday night.
“I’m obviously very biased about that, so my answer would be yeah, absolutely,” Oates said after Ovechkin had a goal and an assist in a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. “Obviously Sidney Crosby is another candidate, for sure. He had such a scoring lead, but I think you’ve got to factor in the fact he’s missed a lot of games.
“That’s not really for me to say though, it’s you guys.”
Unless Oates is a voting member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he doesn’t have a say. But Oates doesn’t need to make a convincing argument, and Ovechkin has 19 goals and nine assists in his past 18 games.
The Caps are 14-3-1 in that time.
“Obviously Alex has really led our team, and you see it every night now,” Oates said. “You saw his energy tonight. Obviously every team that we play they have to focus on him. And he’s in a good place and his linemates have played great for him and he’s helped them. I think that line’s carried us. … A lot of positive things.”
Ovechkin ranks first in the league in goals with 28 and fourth in points with 48. Crosby leads the NHL in points with 56; he is out with a broken jaw.