The factors behind the Washington Capitals' recent swoon (3-6-1) and overall problems don't all trace back to Alex Ovechkin. Or do they?
He's the captain and the catalyst, and Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post noted that in the Capitals' seasonal nadir — a 7-1 loss to the Maple Leafs — "Ovechkin's disinterest, it seemed, trickled down to everyone else on the roster."
If you believe there's a serious rift between Coach Bruce Boudreau and his star player, El-Bashir spells out what the sources of that rift could be:
• Boudreau moved Ovechkin to the wall on the power play, and Ovechkin wants to play the point. Keep in mind an ineffective power play in key situations has torpedoed the Capitals in recent postseasons.
• "Boudreau and his coaching staff have implored Ovechkin to change his strategy on the attack for more than a year. Go wide instead of cutting to the middle, they've told him. Use teammates instead of squeezing off low-percenta...