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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Nhl Network
Adam Oates coaches the Capitals, which means he coaches Alex Ovechkin. So of course he's going to be "very biased" when discussing the Most Valuable Player candidacy of the man who has put the Caps on his back like a big ol' piano and carried the team to the cusp of the NHL playoffs.
Ovechkin still enjoys scoring goals, but he's no longer the kid at Christmas he used to be. The goals don't come quite as easily anymore, at least not often enough to drown out the wave of criticism around him.
Joel Ward was a playoff hero for the Nashville Predators a year ago. Postseason heroics to the tune of seven goals and six assists earned him a four-year, $12 million contract with the Washington Capitals.