Apr 30, 2012, 10:51 PM EDT
Alex Ovechkin had one of the strangest nights a star player can experience in the Washington Capitals’ 3-2 Game 2 win against the New York Rangers.
He started off the night with a laughable 3:33 of ice time through the first period and finished with just 13:36 overall, yet he made the most of his rare nibbles. Ovechkin fired seven shots on goal, with one of them besting Henrik Lundqvist for the game-winner. He also blocked a shot and threw two hits in about as a dominant contest as you can have in less than 14 minutes of ice time.
While Ovechkin’s GWG drew the headlines, the continued short leash from Dale Hunter might just have the biggest influence on the series as the venue shifts to DC.
For better or worse, Hunter and the Capitals seem content to depend more upon their reinforced defensive mindset and Braden Holtby in net rather than letting Ovechkin and their other stars roam free. Many probably believe that Washington’s victories speak for themselves while critics believe that Holtby’s strong play might make Hunter look wiser than he’s really been.
Hunter’s explanation was as milquetoast as one might expect from the far-from-verbose coach. Here’s his comment on the ice time situation, via Stephen Whyno.
“Four lines and six D were all going tonight,” Hunter said. “They were all going hard, so it’s easy to play everybody.”
(Note: some, like Jay Beagle – who played just under 20 minutes – played more than others, though.)
So what do you think? Is Hunter crazy or crazy like a fox when it comes to the way he’s handling Ovechkin? Share your thoughts in the comments.
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 52
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 71
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 41
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 44
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (71)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)