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Alex Ovechkin doesn’t seem happy with Bruce Boudreau’s comments

Oct 12, 2011, 7:31 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals - Game Five Getty Images

It’s not often that an undefeated team faces as much heat as the Washington Capitals are dealing with, but their sloppy win against the Tampa Bay Lightning raised red flags. Alex Ovechkin‘s struggles weren’t lost on Bruce Boudreau, who said the star winger “has a long way to go.”

Judging by his comments to’s Chuck Gormley, Ovechkin wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to respond to his coach’s criticisms.

“I think everybody can be better,” Ovechkin said. “I think that has to be between me and him and I don’t want to comment on it.”

Boudreau isn’t exactly going the low-risk route during a season of intense scrutiny. He showed the courage to ruffle his best player’s feathers and made the gut decision to start Michal Neuvirth instead of Tomas Vokoun in the season opener. Those aren’t exactly easy situations to deal with, but Boudreau’s doing his best to show that his stars won’t live in a bubble this season, which seemed to be one of the main points of Matt Bradley’s summer critique.

To some, that might be a sign of a bench boss on the verge of a panic attack. Here’s the rub with that line of criticism, though: Boudreau made the right choice in both cases.

  1. jpelle82 - Oct 12, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    the neuvirth thing makes sense, the guy deserved the start. he is jumping the gun with the ovechkin comments in my opinion, ovechkin is a proven veteran. unless of course there’s more to the story that we dont know. ovechkin isnt really known for his off-season work and i remember a lot of “fat” talk leading up to season’s start.

    • stakex - Oct 12, 2011 at 9:09 PM

      Yeah, I don’t really get how someone can say Boudreau was right in calling out Ovechkin. This all stemmed from a couple defensive plays Ovechkin handled less then thrilling that resulted in goals. However, neither of those goals were really Ovechkins falt, and hes NOT a defensive player to begin with. He is the best goal scorer in the NHL…. Bourdreau needs to stop trying to turn him into a defensive player. Not only will it never work, its killing Ovechkins game.

  2. dowhatifeellike - Oct 12, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    While I think being critical of him publicly was uncalled for, dude does need to step up his game. The crazy, low-percentage trick shots just aren’t going in anymore and he probably only puts about a quarter of them on net.

  3. bcjim - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    Great Picture.

  4. bd0986 - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    I’ve been saying since Caps lost to TB, trade 8. He reverted back to his old says of trying to do it all by himself in the playoffs, and that wasn’t the system in place the last half of the year. I realize he’s very marketable in DC, but I think he needs to embrace change. yes, he’ll have a few highlight goals a year, but the league is figuring out how to defend him.

    • stakex - Oct 13, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      Yeah, good luck selling that one to the Caps. In the playoffs last year, Ovechkin had 5 goals and 5 assists in the 9 games they played (2g, 2a against the Lightnigh)…. kinda hard to argue those are bad numbers and hardly a sign that the league has “figured out how to defend him”.

      Want to talk about why the Captials lost last year? How about no goals and only 2 assists from Backstrom? Semin (who many will argue has more talent then anyone in the league) had only 6 points, and only a goal and an assist against the Lightning. I could keep going since the entire Caps team played awful for that series, and its wrong to simply blame Ovechkin for it. In fact, even Boudreau said Ovechkin was their best player for most of the series (and we know hes not shy about calling him out)…. so do you really think they would trade him? No chance.

      If anything they should have let Semin walk instead of re-signing him. All signs point to him being a selfish player who really could care less if the Caps ever win.

  5. muhangis - Oct 13, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    perhaps, but Bruce Boudreau has a much, much longer way to go.

    Still in disbelief that he was even hired back

  6. polegojim - Oct 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    How can you NOT see the need??? O IS the Caps and the Caps are escorted home from the playoffs annually due to sloppy play and O is completely guilty.

    Who do you think should fade the heat?

    Coach B2 is putting SuperStar O on notice and he deserves it.
    1) Stop taking regular season prima donna bows and cashing checks
    2) Start playing like a disciplined leader ALL during the season so your team will follow suit
    3) SuperStar regular season stats don’t win Championships
    4) Candy bar contracts don’t equal wins

    If he listens, maybe…just maybe… they’ll win a Stanley Cup.

    That’s what O is totally missing

    • stakex - Oct 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      Lets me get this strait…. it sounds like you want a professional athleat to:

      1. Stop accepting his paycheck
      2. Play bad during the regular season
      3. Pass up free money

      I really fail to see how that will make someone a better hockey player, or help his team win the Cup. You know what number DOES matter? Ovechkin has 25 goals, and 25 assists in 37 career playoff games. Hes doing his part to help the Caps win a cup…. perhaps its the rest of the team that needs the kick in the ass (Semin I’m looking in your direction)? Everyone always assumes a player like Ovi can lead a team to the Cup simply by “playing like a leader”…. but thats almost never how it is. TEAMS win Cups, not players… and TEAMS lose Cups as well.

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