Alexander Ovechkin is at a crossroads in his career. He is still the same happy-go-lucky Russian sniper who took the NHL by storm after the lockout, and therein lies the problem. When he was a 20-year old rookie, Ovie could fly down the left wing, turn a defenseman inside out, cut across the middle on his off-wing and bury a shot. Frankly, for his first couple of seasons, he had to because he was usually the best puck-handler on the ice. With the amount on talent on the Capitals now and Ovechkin getting older, Ovechkin no longer needs to be the lone gunman, nor is he capable of keeping it up into his 30s. Looking at Ovechkin's goals this season, one was a deflection, one was a rebound, and 5 were shots that came when he was in space without the puck, received a pass, and fired it quickly. This type of shooting should become Ovechkin's primary scoring method, as his cutting across the middle these days only results in him losing the puck.
Ovechkin needs to adapt his game to meet the changing reality of the NHL: teams have learned how to defend his rushes up the ice when he has the puck. He needs to use his linemates to carry the puck more and set himself up for quick shots, much like Brett Hull did. Hull scored 741 goals in his career and is a good player to emulate, since Hull was a major scoring threat into his late 30s, scoring 37 goals as a 38-year old in 2002-03, well past his physical prime. Ovechkin would likely also benefit from having another Viktor Kozlov-style playmaker on his wing for a season or two as opposed to a Mike Knuble-type crease-crasher.
Alexander Ovechkin is at his most dangerous when he is in space without the puck, especially when Nicklas Backstrom is controlling the play. Ovechkin should make a habit of not keeping the puck on his stick for more than 2 seconds at a time, as his presence in the offensive zone and neutral zone also draws defenders to him and away from his puck-carrying teammates.