Not getting the chance to be on the ice with 1:02 left in a one-goal game and the Capitals pressing, Alex Ovechkin was done with a conversation with coach Bruce Boudreau when he turned away and muttered something under his breath.
It’s impossible to know with 100 percent certainty what Ovechkin said. (Link to TSN’s video is here)
But no matter what the exact phrasing was, Versus analyst and Stanley Cup-winning coach Mike Keenan did not take too kindly to it, blasting Ovechkin on the network’s postgame coverage.
“When is a teacher a great teacher? When the student is ready to learn. In this case Alex Ovechkin has to show a lot more respect to his coaching staff and to his team. There’s a response here that’s not a positive response. I give Bruce Boudreau a lot of credit for making this decision. He’s delivering a message to the star player and his team. That kind of behavior on the ice is not acceptable: Details have to be looked at if we’re going to be a championship team.
“This is a great night. It took a lot of courage for bruce to do that. A lot of people will question if he had the courage to make that call – he did. The response was great. Eventually his top player came out and responded and made a great assist.”
Then, Keenan talked about sending messages to players like fellow analyst Jeremy Roenick.
“It was tough to make those decisions with your top players and if the players were respectful, which you were, top players most of the time are. But he’s going to learn that. I don’t want to see that behavior from him again on the bench ever. You want to be a top player in this league, show respect.”
Roenick admitted saying all kinds of expletive-laced comments at Keenan, but his ex-coach confirmed that veterans like Steve Larmer and Michel Goulet were there to say, “kid, settle down.”
Video of Keenan’s comments, courtesy NBC Sports’ Pro Hockey Talk is here.