Alex Ovechkin on impressions before the new season: "The most important thing is.."



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Alex Ovechkin on impressions before the new season: "The most important thing is.."

Alex Ovechkin doesn't care too much about personal records. His goal remains the fight for the Stanley Cup trophy. "I'm at the age that personal goals are nice, but we understand every year [you get closer] to the end of your career," the 37-year-old forward said for NHL.com "So I just want to win.

I want to be in the playoffs and fight for the Cup." Alex stressed that the most important thing is the health of the players. "The most important thing is everybody has to be healthy, and we have to make the playoffs," Ovechkin said.

"That first 20 games is very important so you have to [earn] points, so if you're going to have some ups and downs during the season you still have those points. … You don't want to play only six months.

You want to play eight months and play for the Cup." General manager Brian MacLellan is optimistic for Ovechkin this season as well. "I wouldn't bet against him," general manager Brian MacLellan said. "I think he has a strong will and I think he knows what he wants to do and accomplish, and usually when he's in that mood he accomplishes what he wants to get done."

Coach Peter Laviolette is impressed with Alex and the effort he shows. "He looks great," coach Peter Laviolette said. "You wouldn't know the difference from when I got here [in 2020] and the way he looked now.

The skate test today, he knocks it out of the park and comes into camp in great shape. Watching the way he started last year he was on fire. That is just a credit to him and the way he trains and what he puts into it and how much this means to him."

Ovechkin and training

Ovechkin talked about the small training changes he and Burlachenko instituted. "Obviously, every year we try to do something different, something more," he said. "But right now, I'm pretty happy what my shape is."

He doesn't want to look too far into the future. "We can't look forward much," Ovechkin said. "Today we finished our skating test. That's a good thing. Tomorrow is going to be a hard practice, so we'll start from there."

Kuemper is happy that after many years he will have the opportunity to play with Ovechkin. "It's going to be so fun to be a part of that and kind of watch history unfold," Kuemper said. "Kind of just the side story throughout all the seasons and watching him chase down history is going to be fun to be a part of."

John Carlson emphasized that catching Howe will be difficult. "It's one thing to lead the league in scoring year after year, but now it's like we're talking real stuff now," Carlson said. "So, on the one hand, I'm kind of blind and numb to just how high on that list he's gone and how tangible it is. It just seems like during the season that it's one thing after the next. Every day it's something."