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Your Call: Is playing Ovechkin less a good strategy for Caps?

TSN.ca Staff

5/2/2012 9:54:12 AM

Washington Capitals head coach Dale Hunter has certainly ignited a hot debate with his recent use of captain Alex Ovechkin in the playoffs.

Ovechkin scored the winning goal against the New York Rangers in Game 2 on Monday despite being limited to just over 13 minutes of ice time.

He averaged about 20 minutes per game in the regular season.

Hockey observers are already asking: is playing Alex Ovechkin less in the playoffs a good strategy for the Capitals?

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, speaking on the NHL on TSN panel on Monday night, explained why he believes that Hunter is focused solely on wins, and not on hurting the feelings of his players.

"Might (playing Ovechkin less) backfire on Hunter before this is over? It might, but if he comes out with a win and gets the Capitals to the third round of the playoffs and if Ovechkin's minutes are 13 minutes or 19 minutes - he's averaging better than 19 minutes going into Monday night's game - Hunter doesn't care."

Ovechkin has cracked the 50-goal plateau four times in his career, but has tallied just 32 and 38 goals, respectively, in the last two seasons. He has 28 goals and 28 assists in 46 career playoff games, including three goals and three assists in nine games this spring.

So we ask you: Is playing Alex Ovechkin less in the playoffs a good strategy for the Capitals?

It's Your! Call.