The Washington Times - March 12, 2013, 12:00PM

Alex Ovechkin has been the subject of criticism from Mike Milbury, Jeremy Roenick, P.J. Stock and Pierre McGuire, all in the past three weeks. Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates doesn’t appreciate it.

Asked if he takes offense to the shots from Milbury and McGuire, Oates said: “A little bit. I don’t like it when ex-players talk about players. I think your job is to add color.”


Oates played 19 NHL seasons and knows there’s a microscope. He spoke to his captain Tuesday morning about the pressure facing him.

“He’s got so much pressure on him the world sees it but they don’t see necessarily the 10 hits, they don’t see necessarily the 14 shots that he takes,” Oates said. “They focus on the mistakes and that goes with the territory.”

On Sirius-XM NHL Network radio Monday, Jim “Boomer” Gordon called Ovechkin the “A-Rod of the NHL,” that he’s the punching bag for everyone.

“I don’t want to be too concerned about it, my job is with Alex and really he should focus on the way I feel about him,” Oates said. “But it is part of the game, when you’re one of the focal points of the league. That’s a fact.”

Oates said Ovechkin recently has played pretty good. “Pretty good, but he has moments, like all of us,” the Caps’ coach said.

Oates believes Ovechkin is doing a good job of tuning out the outside voices and focus on what his coach thinks.

“Yeah, I really like our relationship,” Oates said.