Thursday, November 13, 2008

OBS: A Recipe for Success

OBS. If you were to describe the acronym, words like dazzling, sensational or maybe just sick.

Ovechkin, Backstrom, Semin.

Last year it was known as the OBK Line (Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov) which was leaned on heavily for offensive production in the second half of the season, and were large in part the reason that the Capitals won the Southeast Division.

However early on in the season, OBK was not generating the success that it saw last year. Ovechkin was off to a slow start, as was Kozlov. As for Backstrom, there were extended periods where you were unsure if he was still in the line-up.

Merely a few weeks ago, Kozlov went down with an injury, Ovechkin was returning from a trip to Moscow and Backstrom was demoted to third line duties. When very little seemed to be working offensively, coach Bruce Boudreau decided it was time to put all his eggs in one basket.

Before Sergei Fedorov went down with an injury, he was given the duty of centering the first line. But with him out of the line-up, Backstrom was given a chance at some redemption.

So far the decision has been paying huge dividends, and is making Boudreau look like a genius.

Alexander Semin has been a monster this season. With 13 goals and 14 assists (27 points) in only 15 games this season, is well on his way to surpass his 43 point season last year. He has been leaned on almost exclusively to fashion points for the Capitals as they found ways to win tough games. Since being united with Backstrom and Ovechkin 4 games ago, he has 5 goals and 5 assists.

Semin, however is not the only one benefiting from the new line combos.

Alexander Ovechkin is back with a vengeance. He has scored goals in back to back games, and seems to be getting back on track with his offensive production, marking 2 goals and 6 assists with his new line mates.

Most impressive however has been Backstrom who has been stagnant early on this season. Being moved to the third line seemed to have lit a fire under him as he has put up 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 3 games, most notably a four point showing at Carolina on Tuesday.

It seems that the Capitals are an entirely different team with the newly assembled OBS Line, and Washington has been putting together complete performances from top to bottom, something which has been lacking to this point.

Tonight the potent OBS Line will take on the Martin Broduer-less New Jersey Devils, which has the Capitals fan base eager to get this one started.

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