Alex Ovechkin is on pace for an interesting bit of history this season. He will finish as the league's leading goal scorer as he has 48 right now. But he could also finish with the league's worst plus-minus rating. His minus-36 is three worse at the moment than Alex Edler and Nail Yakupov.
There are numerous reasons how those two can co-exist with Ovechkin -- some of it is really some terrible luck this season, especially lately and some of it is that he does so much of his scoring on the power play when players don't get plusses.
Then of course there are the defensive deficiencies. Let's just say Ovechkin isn't known as a two-way ace. It's clear when you watch him that he's infinitely more interested in playing with the puck than the other way around. In some ways that's OK, his job is to score.
Still, the Capitals expect the captain to at least give effort on the defensive end but in Tuesday night's 5-0 loss at home to the Stars, coach Adam Oates didn't see that in one instance. From Katie Carrera of the Washington Post:
"Ovi quit on the play coming back," Coach Adam Oates said. Whitney "forced [the play] down the ice and just goes to show you you've got to hustle the entire time, the whole entire time."
The goal in question is up above. Watch through the replay to really see what Oates is talking about.
It's almost like this amazing GIF from last postseason.
To be clear; Ovechkin is far from the problem for the Capitals and isn't at the top of reasons why the Capitals won't make the playoffs. In fact, he wasn't the only one criticized by Oates after the embarrassing showing against Dallas.
But as the captain his role will always be under a bigger microscope and when his coach is calling him out for quitting -- a word no player ever wants to hear come from their coach's mouth -- it's going to draw attention.