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Video: Mike Keenan takes Ovechkin to task

Nov 2, 2011, 1:11 AM EDT

A funny thing happened tonight in Washington. When the Washington Capitals needed a goal to tie the game against the Anaheim Ducks, coach Bruce Boudreau picked the six guys on his bench that he thought gave him the best opportunity to score the tying goal.

Alex Ovechkin was not one of those players.

Asked why, Boudreau was to the point with his explanation. “I thought other guys were better than him,” Boudreau said. “It was just a chance that other guys might score the goal. I have to put out the guys who I think are going to score the goal and 99% of the time, Alex is the guy I think is going to score the goal—I just didn’t think he was going to get the goal at that time tonight. You go with your gut feeling.”

After the game, Versus analyst (and former head coach) Mike Keenan shared his thoughts on Ovechkin’s benching at the end of the game. Harsh words indeed:

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  1. stakex - Nov 2, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    So Keenan isn’t addressing if it was right or not for Boudreau to bench Ovechkin…. hes going after Ovechkin, the team captain, for briefly questioning the coaches questionable decision? Ok then.

    It was a call that could have cost the Caps the game, and only a good bounce prevented that. As the captian Ovechkin has every right to question why him and Semin, Washingtons best two players, were left off the ice when they were needed the most. It was a very very brief chat him and Boudreau had. To listen to Keenan you would think Ovechkin was screaming at Boudreau for five minutes.

    On the bright side, Boudreau can’t keep getting lucky with idiotic calls like this. So if he keeps it up, he’ll finally get fired… like he should have been after the playoffs last year, and the year before that, and the year before that.

    • selldannysell - Nov 2, 2011 at 8:13 AM

      Always go with those who are performing. The Laich-Hendricks-Ward line was, Ovechkin and Semin were not. Simple as that. Yes, you’d rather have your star player out there, but if he hadn’t gotten it done in 59 minutes of play, what makes you think he’ll suddenly find the back of the net in the last? It was a risky move, but, one, I think, had to be made based on what he saw, and it worked. Given that Boudreau has won the Adams Trophy, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Nov 2, 2011 at 8:21 AM

        A big part of him winning the Adams Trophy was because of Ovi and Semin.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      Right. He’s a moron for not running Vokoun in the first game, everyone says. He then goes on a nine-game streak because of his correct perception of how Vokoun’s not entirely ready yet and everyone shuts up and admits he called it. Exactly how is this different. Ovi’s been having monstrous difficulty producing for a while now – ever since last year he’s had a lot of trouble being the Caps’ “best player” – and now that Boudreau has several other producing players in his middle six, he can actually criticize his stars if and when they underperform – he can afford to say “Alright, step up” when they don’t play up to their superstar forms. Last year, neither even came close, but Boudreau had nobody to fall back on and so had to tolerate their poor work ethic. But now? Man, he’s got the best third line in hockey right now, and Laich’s all over the place. He can afford to actually take note of questionable performance. Ovi’s had a free ride for years, but now that he isn’t scoring fifty or sixty goals a season and isn’t hitting and grinding and using his massive size and strength like we all know he can, he has to get back on track. He’s better than he’s playing right now, and Boudreau wants the level he knows Ovi can reach.

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