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Proteau's Blog: Alex happy to help

• Some are surprised Alex Ovechkin can be as much of a playmaker as he is a play-finisher. But they shouldn't be. The Capitals phenom had more assists (54) than goals (52) last season. So when he has a three-assist night like he did Wednesday against Ottawa, don't let anyone tell you his game is becoming more well-rounded. It's already there.

• When the size of goalie equipment was reduced after the lockout, the questions about its effect on Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere were many. However, with a 16-2-5 record, 2.21 goals against average and .922 save percentage this season, few are questioning him anymore. It sure helps that Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger play in front of him, but Giguere is a bona fide Vezina contender.

• I realize the NHL wants to increasing its corporate sponsorships, but things are getting a little desperate. For instance, take the “Cold-FX All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by 2K Sports.” That's two sponsorships for one campaign. Maybe they could squeeze in a couple more – Cold-FX All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by 2K Sports, hosted by Yahoo.com and tabulated by H&R Block.” Yeesh.

• First, St. Louis lost Curtis Sanford for up to two months with a bad groin. Now, Manny Legace is gone due to a head injury, leaving them with a combination of Jason Bacashihua and Marek Schwarz. This is starting to look a lot like last season, when four goalies played at least 12 games apiece for the Blues. And we all know how well that turned out.

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