A funny thing happened tonight in Washington. When the Washington Capitals needed a goal to tie the game against the Anaheim Ducks, coach Bruce Boudreau picked the six guys on his bench that he thought gave him the best opportunity to score the tying goal.
Alex Ovechkin was not one of those players.
Asked why, Boudreau was to the point with his explanation. “I thought other guys were better than him,” Boudreau said. “It was just a chance that other guys might score the goal. I have to put out the guys who I think are going to score the goal and 99% of the time, Alex is the guy I think is going to score the goal—I just didn’t think he was going to get the goal at that time tonight. You go with your gut feeling.”
After the game, Versus analyst (and former head coach) Mike Keenan shared his thoughts on Ovechkin’s benching at the end of the game. Harsh words indeed:
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Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”