Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin on barely playing in third: “It is what it is”


While Braden Holtby blossomed into the star of the moment in the third period of a tight 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins, Alex Ovechkin sacrificed like a captain. At least, that’s the best way to spin it to keep the peace for the Washington Capitals, as CSNWashington’s Chuck Gormley explains why Dale Hunter only sent Ovi out for 1:58 of ice time in the game’s final 20 minutes.

Ovechkin assisted on Alex Semin’s second-period goal but his offensive zone giveaway led to Rich Peverley’s goal in the first period.

Hunter simply did not want to run the risk of Ovechkin committing another costly giveaway in the third period of a one-goal game. And Ovechkin was not the only player who sat the bench in the third. Alex Semin took just five shifts in the final period.

There’s been plenty made about Ovechkin getting planted on the bench in the past and – much like tonight – a Capitals’ win wouldn’t kill the questions altogether. To the captain’s credit, Ovi didn’t make anything more than a fuss then using the classic sad salesman’s phrase “it is what it is.”

“The third period we play safe,” Ovechkin said. “It is what it is. We take this win. It was very important mentally.”

The Capitals might have won it for Nicky, but Ovi took one for the team.

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.