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.