Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Gettyimageproxy.ashx_requesturl_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f88569512.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d17a4ad9fdb9cf1937776ed92a93314c888c3f6f61e513a62
Alex Ovechkin has received a huge amount of criticism over the past few seasons. Most of this heat has stemmed from disappointment over the forward's inability to recapture the elite form we witnessed for the better part of five seasons. A lot of this criticism has been deserved as Ovechkin has looked lost on the ice, seemingly uninterested in giving it his all.  The pattern persisted into the 2013 seasons, with analysts such as Mike Milbury calling out Ovechkin for his play. Milbury, unsurprisingly, crossed a line by stating Ovechkin needs to "act like a man." It's safe to say other analysts might have thought even worse of the forward's game, but they were smart enough to keep it off of national television.  How has Ovechkin responded to his critics? He started by calling out Milbury's lack of success as a GM. He then went on a tear, turning his game around and silencing his critics - including Milbury.  Prior to any action on Sunday, April 7th, Alex Ovechkin has scored 41 points in 38 games (7th in the NHL). More impressively, he has scored 23 goals, a mark that ranks 2nd in the NHL trailing just Steven Stamkos (25).  Things didn't start out this way for Ovechkin. When the season started in January, Ovechkin seemingly missed the memo. He opened 2013 with just three points in seven games. His February was better (12 points in 12 games), but he still had trouble lighting the lamp. Criticism poured down on him. Though his stats would make most players proud, they were simply a continuation of a slide that only started because he set the bar so high for himself in the first place.  The calendar flipped to March and it was starting to look like Ovechkin's elite form might truly be a thing of the past. In his first eight games in March, he had two goals and five assists.  Then we hit the middle of March and everything seemed to come together. All of the goals came flooding back. Since March 17th (11 games) he has scored 13 times. He strung together a streak of five games and later a streak of three games where he scored at least one goal in each contest. This run also included a point streak of nine games. Since March 17th, Ovechkin has 19 points in 11 games. The Ovechkin of old is back. He's silencing his critics by posting some ridiculous numbers, including a hat trick on April 6th against Florida. Whether or not this success will continue is up for debate, but at the very least Ovechkin's run should keep analysts such as Milbury off his back. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Report: No teams interested in trading for Lance Stephenson

It is not Chip Kelly's fault if Eagles miss playoffs

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

The Toronto Raptors reveal their new logo

Things Johnny Manziel, Browns can do to avoid a bad repeat

What if the Bengals hired Bill Walsh?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Game of the week: Colts vs. Cowboys

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.