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Ovechkin responds to Knuble’s clown comments: “It’s not my problem”

Nov 9, 2011, 8:13 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Three Getty Images

A day after Washington suffered their first loss at home, the Capitals had more to answer to than just a regular season defeat. You may remember that Mike Knuble had some harsh comments for his teammates and the work ethic last night. When a guy throws around words like “bunch of clowns” and “losers” when talking about his own team, you know things went sideways.

Here’s what Caps captain Alexander Ovechkin had to say about Knuble’s comments: “It’s not my problem.” Nice leadership. He went on to acknowledge that he also thought that his team played like a bunch of clowns because there was a lack of effort. He went onto talk about Knuble’s particular comments and the motivation they may provide. “I think somebody was mad,” Ovechkin said. “I think motivation is with us. It’s not just about words. If fans say something like we’re clowns or a group of idiots, it’s not going to be motivation for us. The motivation is we’re losing right now.”

Just about everyone in the Caps locker room was asked about the postgame comments—just about everyone understood where Knuble was coming from with his words. Jason Chimera said that the hard work needs to start with Ovechkin and Alexander Semin; then added that the hard workers on the team need give even more to the team.

If Knuble was going to feel any repercussions for his comments, Bruce Boudreau would be the man delivering the punishment. You probably shouldn’t hold your breath if you expect the veteran to be reprimanded. When asked about Knuble’s words and his dedication at the Caps tough practice today, Boudreau was to the point. “That’s what leaders do,” the Caps coach said. “They get mad and then they lead by example. The oldest guy out here was working as hard or harder than anybody.”

Now let’s see if the comments and bag skate have any effect on the ice. We’ll find out Friday night in New Jersey.

  1. bigbear42 - Nov 9, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    Nice to see the captain doesnt think things like effort or team chemistry arent his problem

  2. danphipps01 - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    Am I the only one who noticed the quote is actually “It’s not A problem.” and thus COMPLETELY different? That doesn’t sound like he’s blowing him off. It sounds like he’s saying Knuble’s comments after the game aren’t something he took offense to, if anything. The difference between “a” and “my” there is huge.

    • bigbear42 - Nov 9, 2011 at 11:45 PM

      If it really is A and not My, it does change everything

    • stakex - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:00 AM

      Yup, a horrible miss quote that makes Ovechkins comments sound really bad… when in fact they are exactlly what you would expect from the team captain.

      Gotta say though, Knuble has turned this whole thing into a big deal by running his mouth to the media, instead of his teammates. Theres nothing wrong with calling your teammates out, but you don’t do it in front of a camera instead of their face. Doing it this way has caused a public specticle around the whole thing likely adding more tension to an already tense Caps locker room.

  3. gopokes3281 - Nov 9, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    I agree Dan. Knuble is doing his duty as a leader and it sounds like Ovi is fine with his comments. No reason to look to far into this.

  4. dwightbuttz - Nov 10, 2011 at 2:28 AM

    What a Bullshit article, this is pathetic

  5. cshearing - Nov 10, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    From the article:
    On whether Knuble’s comments may serve as motivation:

    “It’s not a problem. I think somebody was mad…”

    This article at PHT needs to be changed, now. It is outright lying.

  6. wheresdapuck - Nov 10, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Here’s the problem with the Dallas game: Ovie took the puck in hard on three ocassions and had to go behind the net and set-up a centering pass – there was no Cap in sight! Alex Semin did the same and again there was no Cap in sight! It isn’t just about the leaders, it is about the rest of the team being aggressive and get their as_ in front of the net!

  7. jpelle82 - Nov 10, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    i dont get why anyone cares. its not like they are playing like columbus…they are still holding the best record. its hockey, you’re going to lose a few games in an 82 game season

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