Following the Capitals’ second game of the season, Bruce Boudreau was asked simply to evaluate the play of Alex Ovechkin. The coach said the star left wing needed to be better.
On Wednesday, Ovechkin seemed reluctant to discuss the issue or issues with his game.
“I think everybody can be better. I think it’s just between me and him,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t want to comment on this.”
When asked to talk about his game, Ovechkin (who has one assist) opened up a little, talking about how he and his linemates have failed to produce so far.
“Well, I think … it’s not that good. I had couple chance to score goals,” Ovechkin said. “I think our line sometimes dominate them but we can’t score. … We have to play better five-on-five.”
Last week was understandably taxing on Ovechkin, as he learned of the death of an uncle and had to fly to Moscow and back to Washington in the span of a few days. He admitted over the weekend that those flights took a toll on him. Boudreau expected him to be better in the second game of the season Monday – so when he wasn’t remarkable, the coach pointed that out.
Wednesday, he expounded a bit on what he means by “better.”
“I think there’s a lot of guys who can be better. I don’t think he’s hit the perfect stride yet. If this was game 38 and he had one point in a two-game stretch I don’t think people would be being overwhelmed,” Boudreau said. “It was the first two games. You asked me at the time and I just didn’t think he had the best game he’s ever played. So he could’ve been better, but there’s a lot of guys that could have been better.”