The Washington Times - November 23, 2011, 11:28AM

Accountability isn’t just about Alexander Semin.

Joel Ward was on the ice for the scratches skate Wednesday morning, and it was hard to tell why. The gritty right wing was sick last week, but he appeared to be OK.


Then we found out that Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was scratching Ward as a punishment for missing a mandatory team meeting Tuesday.

“I basically slept in, missed a team meeting. So I’ve got to pay the consequences of not playing,” Ward said. “I understand it’s part of the team rules. It’s written. I just made a mistake of sleeping in.”

Ward didn’t even make the excuse that he slept in because of illness.

Boudreau wasn’t happy about the move, but he felt like he had to make it.

“Yeah, you don’t want to do it. He’s a good player, but the rules have got to be the rules for everybody,” the coach said. “It’s an unfortunate thing that he overslept, but he missed it.”

Ward understood, something Boudreau was not surprised about because “he’s a good team guy.”

Boudreau said in the past an event like this would typically have called for a fine. It wouldn’t have led to being a scratch.

“Unless it was chronic,” he said.

Instead, Ward made a mistake and became the latest victim of a more accountable team.

“I basically slept in, just kind of didn’t set an alarm clock by accident and overslept and came in late,” Ward said. “So I understand.”