I would point to the change in philosophy and the lack of PP opportunities before going on to say that Ovechkin has lost a step. For those that didn't follow Washington closely the style of play December 2010-2011 was much different then the wide open run and gun style the Caps played a year before. There was much more focus on being defensively responsible and not cheating offensively.
I didn't follow the Caps that closely, but I watched enough to say that when your superstar goal scorer is tripping over his own feet on what used to be routine one timers, you shouldn't be blaming the "change in philosophy".
I think Ovechkin really bulked up between the end of the 2005-2006 season and his MVP 2007-2008 season.
That being said, I can't help but say that 2005-2006 Ovechkin was the sickest player I'd seen in a while. Ridiculous speed, dangles, and goal-scoring ability. No one goal was like the other, and they all seemed like highlight-reels.
I personally think he's got to cut down to about 215 so he can re-gain some of that elite speed and quickness that made him such a dynamic talent. He's become somewhat predictable as a power forward.
Ovechkin is right at that line, I don't think he can gain much more weight and still be an elite skater. In fact I think he'd be more effective if he could drop down to 220 in a more ripped form. The extra fat is to no use when you're already that big/strong.
That said, I think he and the Caps have better knowledge than we do.
I think it would help him get his speed and explosiveness back. Watch him in his first 2-3 season v.s now. He looks slower and it could be a problem if he has another down season like 30 some goals. (for him less than 50 a disappointment)
Are you saying he wore a fake gut for an interview?
1) Do you not notice that his stomach is really only actually protruding on one side of his waist? Maybe he just works out one side really hard and lets the other side just hang, but the more likely explanation is that he's wearing some sort of tech gear under his shirt.
2) Look at the picture of him in the white shirt on this blog post. Does he really look like a guy that would have that sort of spare tire when sittin' down.
EDIT: Obviously that blog post just has two pictures in two poses that aren't really known for showing off fat, but the big blow up on the interwebs over the past couple of days about him being so fat is just from one picture in a pose that's known for showing off fat. Who knows, maybe he actually did work off his gut over the summer. I sure as hell hope so.