Bruce Boudreau and Alex Ovechkin said they hadn’t talked about Tuesday night’s situation. There’s nothing to talk about, they confirmed, as both are on the same page.
“We want all our players – they’re all competitive,” Boudreau said. “And yeah, I don’t want them to be complacent and say, Oh that’s nice, I think that’s what the idea was – knowing him, he’s going to be upset.”
Boudreau had two chances to put Ovechkin in the game in the final 1:27 and didn’t. The captain seemed less than pleased about not being in the game and appeared to mutter something – whether it was to his coach, to himself – that included an apparent expletive.
Boudreau said he didn’t hear it and didn’t care what Ovechkin said. Playing others not named Ovechkin could mean strengthening the team idea of “accountability” that has been a theme this season.
“I hope the message has gotten clear from July till now. I’m hoping we don’t change that message,” Boudreau said. “We’re going to try to stay strong with it. That’s what it is, and I think that’s the only way that we’re going to be successful.”
Boudreau called Ovechkin a “great captain” and compared him to Canadiens legend Maurice Richard.
“Alex understands and gets it,” Boudreau said. “He’s a great captain that way. He gets mad because he wants to play and he wants to compete.”