NHL Insider to Alex Ovechkin: Lose weight

Would slimming down a bit during the summer help the Great 8?

Michael W.

It seemed as though Father Time was finally catching up to Washington Capitals captain and franchise icon Alex Ovechkin during the first half of this season. During the first 43 games of the schedule, Ovechkin lit the lamp only eight times, leading many to wonder if his quest to match Wayne Gretzky's all-time goals record of 892 was in danger. 

However, Ovechkin managed to turn back the clock and look more like his old self in the season's latter half, netting 23 goals in his next 36 games, culminating in a total of 31 goals for the season. This marks his 18th NHL campaign in which he lit the lamp at least 31 times, a new League record. 

The bad news for Ovechkin and the Capitals is that though they ultimately won what was a bizarre race between themselves and three other clubs for the final Wild Card postseason race, their stay in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was a blink of an eye as they were swept in four games by the New York Rangers. Even worse is the fact that Ovechkin didn't register a single point in the series, and was publicly called out by head coach Spencer Carbery. 

What does Ovechkin have to do in order to avoid a horrific goal scoring slump like he endured in the first half of 2023-24? According to legendary NHL analyst John Buccigross, he'll have to slim down during the summer. 

He wrote the following on social media:

"Time for Ovi to embrace fitness/nutrition. Drop 15-20. He's got 5 months until opening night. 3-4 pounds a month. Work on his skating. Hire a chef and trainer and go all in. Rent ice like Kucherov. Big things can happen with small improvements," Buccigross tweeted.

It's evident that Buccigross believes a slimmer Ovi, who is currently listed at 6'3" and 238 lbs, would have a smoother path towards chasing Gretzky's scoring record compared to his current physique.

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Source: Sportskeeda