Skip to content

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

May 3, 2012, 12:39 AM EST

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. Wild storm Hurricanes for fifth straight win

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:14 PM EST

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    Minny has lost only three times since start of February.

  2. Debut delayed? Johnson doubtful, Sabres recall Makarov

    Mar 6, 2015, 5:00 PM EST

    New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres New York Islanders v Buffalo Sabres

    Meaning Anders Lindback looks to play against Ottawa tonight.

  3. Darryl Sutter was asked about ‘must-win’ games, and his answer was very Darryl Sutter-like

    Mar 6, 2015, 4:00 PM EST

    Darryl Sutter AP

    “There’s no such thing as a ‘must-win.’ Nobody gets locked up or thrown in the ocean or anything like that.”

  4. Slumping Preds lose Nystrom (lower body) for one month

    Mar 6, 2015, 3:13 PM EST

    Detroit Red Wings v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    Gritty forward will miss most of the remainder of the regular season.

  5. One NHL GM thinks it’s ‘ridiculous’ how much ‘heat’ Chiarelli is taking

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EST

    Peter Chiarelli AP

    “There’s no question Chiarelli would have a chance to work as soon as he wanted to.”

  6. Goalie nods: Dubnyk to make 23rd straight start

    Mar 6, 2015, 2:03 PM EST

    Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

    News and notes from around the crease…

  7. Voynov trial delayed to late April

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:13 PM EST

    Sasha Voynov Sasha Voynov

    Making it virtually impossible for him to play again this season.

  8. Bettman concedes there are ‘some members of the NHL family who would like to see fewer shootouts’

    Mar 6, 2015, 1:10 PM EST

    Max Pacioretty, Jonathan Quick AP

    However, “We’re not hearing that from fans. Fans like the way the game is.”

  9. Okposo (detached retina) to travel, resume skating with Isles

    Mar 6, 2015, 12:38 PM EST

    Kyle Okposo Getty Images

    It’s likely he’ll take the morning skate on Saturday.

  10. Flyers part ways with goalie coach Reese

    Mar 6, 2015, 12:08 PM EST

    Getty Images

    “It was a mutual agreement between both parties.”

  11. Season over: Avs lose MacKinnon to broken foot

    Mar 6, 2015, 11:43 AM EST

    Nathan MacKinnon Getty Images

    Huge blow to Colorado’s already slim playoff chances.

Featured video

Is there an issue with Babcock in Detroit?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Okposo (3220)
  2. H. Lundqvist (3075)
  3. T. Seguin (2923)
  4. F. Andersen (2461)
  5. M. Giordano (2404)
  1. T. Hall (2397)
  2. H. Zetterberg (2253)
  3. A. Ovechkin (2162)
  4. B. Dubinsky (2090)
  5. P. Sharp (1959)