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Did Alex Ovechkin curse out Bruce Boudreau for benching him?

Nov 2, 2011, 8:19 AM EDT

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

If you missed it last night, the Capitals pulled a huge comeback victory out over the Ducks, winning 5-4 in overtime. What you really missed out on was seeing Alex Ovechkin benched in the final minute of play while Nicklas Backstrom scored the game-tying goal. You also saw Ovechkin nailed to the bench for the better part of overtime before helping factor into Backstrom’s game-winning goal in overtime leading Versus’ own Mike Keenan to take Ovechkin to task.

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau was hailed as a “genius” after the game for making all the right moves, but did Alex Ovechkin call him something else when he was told he was sitting down? It sure seems that way according to video from our friends at CSNWashington.com.

We’re not lip readers here, but it sure looks like whatever Ovechkin said to Boudreau as he was telling him he wasn’t going out for the face off wasn’t too pleasant. Boudreau saying that he didn’t think the best pure goal scorer on his team had it in him to score the goal they needed makes for an awfully large condemnation of Ovechkin’s play last night.

Ovechkin’s line hadn’t been performing up to par all game long and while it was their third line that was doing the damage, not even having Ovechkin out there with your goalie pulled as the extra attacker defies all conventional wisdom.

Is Boudreau a genius here or did he manage to cause a rift with the team’s best player? You can’t bag on a guy when he’s right, but when you’re looking to get your best player motivated, perhaps poking the bear will pay off in the end.

For Boudreau’s sake, he’d better hope so.

  1. merchaholic - Nov 2, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    I hope Ovechkin pulls a Roy and says he’s not playing another game with them and wants a trade. Then goes and wins the cup with whatever team takes him.

  2. botlecap - Nov 2, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Boudreau sure has some stones. Can you imagine all the grief he’d have gotten if they lost that game with Ovechkin on the bench? The clear message he’s sending to his team is that he wants to finally win something, and they’d better start playing that way if they want to be on the ice.

  3. washcaps21 - Nov 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    The guys on NHL Overtime said it best last night. If this didn’t work out Ovi would have boudreau eating out of his hand but because it worked Ovi is now bruces’ puppet. I’m all for benching a player who doesn’t perform well and honestly while watching the game last night I found myself saying “C’mon ovechkin fuckin skate!” He just seemed lackadaisical last night and was leaving passing lanes wide open for the Ducks. I think Ovi is trying to hit that homerun play. He tends to sit back and watch the play then once there’s a loose puck he either breaks for the blue line or tries to pick up the puck and dangle till there’s no tomorrow. He needs to go back to when he was throwing his body around making the play to get the puck rather than being a camper and waiting for the puck to get jarred loose then make a break for it.

  4. stakex - Nov 2, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    I still say it was an idiotic move to not only have your best two players on the bench in the last minute when you needed a goal (Semin was riding the pine as well for those who didn’t notice), but also to cause a rift with your best player. Your best player who was actually pretty hot coming into this game with 4 goals and 2 assists in the previous four games. Its not like Ovechkin was riding a several game cold streak or anything… he was simply having an off night. You just don’t punish the best player in the world for one bad game when hes currently on a hot streak.

    Sure, it worked out ok for Boudreau in the short term thanks in no small part to an extremely lucky bounce… but how about the long term? There already seemed to be some friction between Boudreau and Ovechkin before this game, and its hard to see that rift getting any smaller. If things should come to a head between the two… Boudreau is a coach that can’t finish, and Ovechkin is a super star. Who do you think is going to win that battle? I’d be veryyy careful if I was Boudreau.

  5. govtminion - Nov 2, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Remember, what, two years ago or so, when the debate was whether Ovechkin or Crosby was the best player in the league?

    This is why we don’t debate that anymore. Ovechkin has turned in some pretty lame performances over the last year or so, and while he’s also put in some jaw-droppers as well, it feels like his work ethic just isn’t there lately. Then again, it’s felt that way watching the Caps in general. Perhaps it’s time to bring in a coach with a firmer hand.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 2, 2011 at 3:26 PM

      Boudreau’s trying to be that guy now, though. I say give him a chance. He’s an extremely perceptive guy and he knows how to produce. He’s got a roster that can win without Ovi producing, so now he feels he can actually be firmer about Ovi’s play. I think he should be given the chance to work on the problem himself first, now that he feels he can afford to lock horns with Ovi and not lose a game over it.

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