Skip to content

Alex Ovechkin got his ice time tonight; Stu Bickel? Not so much

May 3, 2012, 12:39 AM EDT

ovikneegetty Getty Images

After days worth of stories about a superstar getting minimal ice time, it’s probably appropriate to shift from feeling stunned about Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin‘s reps to feeling really bad for New York Rangers defenseman Stu Bickel.

Ovechkin played an impressive 35:14 minutes in that triple overtime marathon, putting him in the thick of things with the Capitals’ biggest time on ice earners. The only players who really towered over Ovi were (logically enough) defensemen, as Dennis Wideman (40:42) and John Carlson (39:19) are going to need the most electrolytes and post-game protein.

So instead of second-guessing Dale Hunter about Ovi’s minutes, the attention might turn to John Tortorella’s total dismissal of Stu Bickell. I have no choice but to put this tidbit in italics and bold face:

In more than five and a half periods, Bickell received 3:24 of ice time.

Let that one sink in for a moment.

James Mirtle points out that Bickell’s final shift came with 15:42 left in the second period of Game 3. In other words, he sat on the bench for the equivalent of a full game. The Rangers’ big-minute defensemen carried the load instead, then. Ryan McDonagh played almost a regulation game’s worth of minutes (53:17), Marc Staal had 49:34, Dan Girardi had 44:26 and Michael Del Zotto had 43:33. If there’s one positive the Capitals can take away that’s a bit more tangible, it’s that New York’s D played huge minutes.

There are about a million questions one can ask about this memorable contest, but let me utter a rather obvious one: Bickell has to be a healthy scratch in Game 4, right?

Latest Posts
  1. Blues ink Brodziak, Harrold to one-year contracts

    Jul 2, 2015, 9:45 PM EDT

    Kyle Brodziak Kyle Brodziak

    Doug Armstrong dipped into the free agency pool Thursday evening for some depth signings.

  2. Oshie on trade from St. Louis: ‘Changes had to be made’

    Jul 2, 2015, 7:50 PM EDT

    T.J. Oshie T.J. Oshie

    He’s looking forward to playing with Ovechkin and Backstrom in Washington.

  3. Report: Voynov remains suspended by the NHL after taking plea

    Jul 2, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Slava Voynov Slava Voynov

    There’s no “timetables for next steps,” according to NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

  4. Kessel on moving on from Toronto: ‘It’s a different world there’

    Jul 2, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Phil Kessel

    The 27-year-old is looking forward to a fresh start in Pittsburgh.

  5. Ducks bring back d-man Holzer with one-year, $750K deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 3:34 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks Headshots Getty Images

    Acquired from Toronto at last year’s trade deadline.

  6. NHL-KHL fail to reach player-transfer deal

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

    khl_logo

    Leagues will continue to respect each other’s contracts. But that’s it.

  7. Voynov takes plea, gets 90 days in jail plus probation

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:52 PM EDT

    Pleads no contest to misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a spouse.

  8. Sharks hire Boughner, Hedberg as DeBoer’s assistants

    Jul 2, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

    Windsor Spitfires v Niagara Ice Dogs Getty Images

    Boughner coached against DeBoer in the OHL, Hedberg played for him in New Jersey.

  9. Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:46 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four Getty Images

    Former Hart Trophy winner announced his retirement on Thursday.

  10. Caps landing ‘affordable’ Williams a sign of the new free agency

    Jul 2, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT

    150702_JustinWilliams Getty Images

    “At some point Justin became more affordable to us, and we started to lean his way.”

  11. Kassian vows to give it all for Habs: ‘As you grow older, you mature’

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Zack Kassian Getty Images

    “At the end of the day, nobody wants to get traded two times. But it’s a learning curve.”

  12. Shattenkirk’s agent downplays trade rumors

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:18 PM EDT

    Kevin Shattenkirk AP

    But reports suggest Edmonton, Columbus and Philly are interested.

  13. Preds re-sign Bourque: one year, $866,250

    Jul 2, 2015, 12:07 PM EDT

    gabrielbourquegetty Getty Images

    24-year-old has appeared in 220 NHL contests, all with Nashville.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2519)
  2. D. Hamilton (2049)
  3. S. Gagner (1886)
  4. C. Talbot (1863)
  5. E. Etem (1783)
  1. P. Kessel (1733)
  2. Z. Kassian (1732)
  3. A. Niemi (1726)
  4. A. Sekera (1664)
  5. C. Pronger (1609)