Alex Ovechkin’s ice time has been a major talking point throughout the playoffs. Whether the Caps win or lose, scanning Ovechkin’s time-on-ice column on the stat sheet has almost overtaken looking to see how many points he’s put up.
Caps coach Dale Hunter has made it obvious if they’re ahead, you won’t see much of Ovechkin late in games. CSNWashington’s Chuck Gormley hears from Caps defenseman Karl Alzner that while Ovechkin might want the minutes, he knows getting angry about it won’t help the team.
“You know he wants to play more and he’s frustrated at not playing 20 minutes,” Alzner said. “But he doesn’t care. He wants to win that game. He played 13 minutes and went out and scored the most important goal of the game.
“If guys are getting upset about ice time and that’s all you’re worried about you’re not going to play good. I’ve seen it happen to a lot of guys in the seven years I’ve been playing. It’s pretty obvious.”
It’s one thing if third and fourth line guys are yelling about minutes, it’s another thing entirely if it’s one of the five best players in the game. Watching how Hunter handles Ovechkin is proving to be a drama unto itself and one that leaves everyone open to criticism. Just imagine what the talk would’ve been had the Rangers won Game 2.