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января 2006 года.
Building a Better Bond Yields Scoring Explosion // Washington Post
By Tarik El-Bashir
There hasn't been a whole lot of chemistry to speak of in this rebuilding
season for the Washington Capitals, but there have been flashes of it between
veteran center Dainius Zubrus and rookie left wing Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's
third-leading goal scorer.
The meshing of the team's two most important forwards is happening at a critical time for the struggling team, which snapped a six-game losing streak Friday in Anaheim. The Capitals will be looking to make it two victories in a row for just the third time this season when they face the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday at Glendale Arena.
Over the past 12 games, Ovechkin has accumulated 12 goals and 21 points. Zubrus, meantime, has racked up 13 points over the past 12. Four of Zubrus's goals during that span were assisted by Ovechkin. Three of Ovechkin's goals, conversely, were assisted by Zubrus.
"In the beginning of the season, Alex tried to do so much on his own," Zubrus said. "Now we are trying to help him. I explain to him that if he uses me and his other teammates, it will be good for everybody."
Ovechkin (team-leading 30 goals, 55 points) is on pace for one of the most prolific rookie seasons in NHL history while Zubrus (10 goals, 13 assists) could match, or even surpass, his best offensive season. (Zubrus had 43 points for Washington in 2001-02). Together, they have combined for 35 percent of the team's 115 goals.
"We play 20 minutes a game on the ice together for like the past 15 games or something like that," Zubrus said. "When he scores, I'm not too far away. And when I score, it's probably because he is feeding the puck to me. We are reading one another well right now."
Coach Glen Hanlon has shuffled his forward lines often, but he's refrained from disrupting Ovechkin and Zubrus, who have played alongside each other since Zubrus returned from a groin injury on Dec. 1. The right wing of the scoring line has been a virtual revolving door. But the job may go to Chris Clark if he continues to play the way he did in Anaheim, where he posted two assists.
"Yes, there has been some chemistry building," Coach Glen Hanlon said. "I thought the last game in Anaheim was the best Ovechkin and Zubrus have played as a line. The involvement of the right winger and the plays being made from the right side was the best we've seen and we ended up with a pretty good performance."
The fledgling chemistry isn't apparent only on offense. Zubrus, a solid defensive forward, often compensates for Ovechkin in the Capitals' end, where the rookie is still learning. Before faceoffs, it's common to see Zubrus pull Ovechkin aside and for a quick chat about positioning.
"We talk a lot, sometimes I translate stuff that Glen is saying to us on the bench," Zubrus said. "Communication is a big part of it."
Ovechkin added: "On defense, sometimes Zubie screams to me, 'Alex, go there!' And I go there. I understand when he tells me."
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"Звёзды с Востока"
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// «МК в Тольятти»
27 сентября. All Signs Pointing Up for Zubrus
- The Washington Post
11 августа. Zubrus, Semin May Miss Start of Camp, If Not More - Washington Post
28 октября. Дайнюс Зубрус: Надо начинать выигрывать // «МК в Тольятти»
27 сентября. All Signs Pointing Up for Zubrus - The Washington Post