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Ovechkin: 'I'm not going to change'

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Alex Ovechkin spoke briefly to the media this morning, and he wasn’t in a very cheerful mood. His answers were short, but his message was pretty clear.

“It is what is again, so they suspend me and there is nothing I can say about it. I am disappointed,” Ovechkin said of the suspension. When asked if this was going to change him, he responded, “No, maybe it just get me more angry,” and later to a similar question, “I’m not going to change.”

Meanwhile, Bruce Boudreau wanted to clarify his words from yesterday.

“I don’t want him to change the way he plays at all, either. When I said reckless, I was using the term in fear of him getting hurt, not him hurting anyone else,” Boudreau said. “He’s got to be him. I don’t want him to change. That’s what makes him one of the three things – one of the best players in the world, one of the best personalities in sports and the reason you pay to watch for guys like Alex.”

It seems like the general consensus is his teammates don’t want him to change how he plays, but they don’t want him missing games because of injuries/suspensions, either. It is a fine line to walk, for sure.

“When you play close to the edge things kind of just happen,” Mike Knuble said. “A lot of times things happen quickly, and I guess as a teammate your concern is with him that he’s putting himself in compromising positions. You don’t want him to get hurt and don’t want him to get suspended, but at the same time what makes him such a great player is he plays at such an intense level.”

Boudreau said he expects Ovechkin to “not want to miss anymore time than he has to,” which sounds like he expects him for Monday’s game in Tampa Bay.

As for the other injured guys, Boudreau said he “assumes” Semin will play tomorrow (and then said he shouldn’t assume anything with No. 28) but thinks Tom Poti is “more quesitonable” to play against the Panthers.

Finally, Jay Beagle hasn’t officially been demoted, but he left Kettler with his equipment and said he was heading for Hershey.

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