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All about 'respect' and 'trust': Ovechkin, new coach have Capitals on top after rough start

Monday, 04.08.2013 / 2:35 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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All about 'respect' and 'trust': Ovechkin, new coach have Capitals on top after rough start

WASHINGTON - "Trust" and "respect" have put Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals back on top.

That's how Ovechkin and Capitals coach Adam Oates describe it. A meeting of the minds between the first-time NHL head coach and the two-time league MVP — along with a position switch — has No. 8 putting up numbers like the Alexander the Great of old.

Oates worked to gain Ovechkin's trust while persuading him to switch from left wing to right wing, and Ovechkin feels a respect from Oates that he didn't get under former coach Dale Hunter.

After a rough start, the Capitals have moved into first place in the Southeast Division — and Ovechkin is tied for the NHL's goal-scoring lead.

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Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

— Sabres forward Jack Eichel on transitioning from college hockey to the NHL