Alex Ovechkin's game had grown so stale and incomplete that, a year ago, he was being benched late in games.
The two-time MVP's performances are back to being predictable - in a way the Washington Capitals have to love.
After scoring five times in his last two games to grab a share of the NHL goal-scoring lead, Ovechkin tries to help the Capitals remain alone atop the Southeast Division on Tuesday night when they visit the Northeast-leading Montreal Canadiens.
The 27-year-old Russian found himself benched by defensive-minded coach Dale Hunter at times late in games last season, particularly when the Capitals (20-17-2) held a lead.
Enter Adam Oates, who moved Ovechkin from left wing to right wing and endured a miserable start to a season shortened by a labor dispute. Oates now has the Capitals - and Ovechkin - back on track. Washington has taken over first place in the Southeast, and Ovechkin looks like the Alexander the Great of old, netting 16 goals in 14 games to move into a t...