Alex Ovechkin wasn’t thrilled. With the game on the line and the Capitals pressing, coach Bruce Boudreau sat his star player and captain.
That didn’t sit too well with the ultra-competitive Ovechkin, who appeared to mutter something involving a curse word after turning away from his coach.
“Well, I was pissed off. Of course I wanted to be in the situation on the ice,” Ovechkin said. “It doesn’t matter who I said it and what I said. It looked funny on TV. I don’t know. It’s right now big story.
“It’s just a little bit frustrating because I’m a leader on the team and I want to be on that kind of responsibility. Bruce put Brooks’ line and it worked.”
Ovechkin played just 17:36 in the 5-4 overtime victory over the Anaheim Ducks but was not on the ice for the final 1:27. Instead, Matt Hendricks, Marcus Johansson and Mike Knuble were put out there after the timeout and then Brooks Laich, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward.
“Last night they was deserved to be there,” he said. “Who deserved to be on the ice in that kind of moment, it doesn’t matter who you are. You have to be on the ice.”
Ovechkin said this kind of situation – him not being on the ice in a key spot like that – hasn’t happened since he was maybe 14 years old.
“When I was a little kid. So I’m right now back to young age again,” Ovechkin said with a smile. “So thank Bruce.”
With accountability being a theme this season, Ovechkin knows this is part of it. He took blame for one of the Ducks’ goals and didn’t seem all too happy about his own game Tuesday.
Hence, him not playing with the Caps down a goal late.
“It was frustrating and that kind of situation pisses me off, but it is what it is. It’s good for the team. I have to respond for it,” Ovechkin said. “It’s one team and it doesn’t matter how good you are or who you are. If you want to win, you have to be on the same page. Everybody.”