Through eight games Alex Ovechkin ranks 81st in the NHL in goals [two], 251st in assists [one], 183rd in points [three], 550th in plus minus [minus-3], eighth in shots [29] and 259th in shooting percentage [6.9 percent].

So what does all this mean in the eyes of first-year Capitals coach Adam Oates?

Not much, actually.

The re-making of Ovechkin has been Oates' biggest undertaking since he took over for Dale Hunter over the summer.

Oates has tried Ovechkin at right wing and left wing. He's tried him on the penalty kill and in the final minute of one-goal games. He's matched him with no less than seven different linemates.

The goal is turn Ovechkin from one of the game's most explosive goal scorers to one of the game's most dangerous all-around players.

It remains a work in progress but one Oates believes is moving in the right direction.

"That's one of the things we talk about," Oates said Saturday after putting his players through an optional skate that was attended by everyone but Ovechkin, Mike Ribeiro and Mike Green.