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.
This fight between Tom Wilson, Chris Stewart got downright gory (Video)
For those who decry the decline in fighting – in “blood and guts” hockey – Tuesday presented a bloody moment, one fairly high on this season’s Muta scale.
Also, for some, seeing it happen to Tom Wilson specifically may provide additional pleasure.
Anyway, as you can see in the video above, Minnesota Wild winger Chris Stewart bloodied the Washington Capitals pest in a fight. Whether you’re for, against or neutral toward Wilson, it’s quite the sight.
Wilson may be hurt, by the way. He missed some time but returned later in the contest.
Auston Matthews likely ranks as the top reason that many Toronto Maple Leafs are starting to get the same feelings they had in better times, so it only makes sense that he broke a beloved Buds’ record on Tuesday.
With his 35th goal of a potential Calder season – but a brilliant debut either way – Matthews passed Wendel Clark for the Maple Leafs’ rookie record for goals in a season.
That goal was also meaningful for William Nylander, as he extended his point streak to 12 games with an assist. This team, fueled by young players, just keeps shattering first-year marks:
Leafs rookie record watch:
GOALS – 35 Matthews ASSISTS – 40 Marner tied with Bodnar POINT STREAK – 12 games Nylander SHG – 3 Hyman
The U.S. women’s national team voted in favor of accepting USA Hockey’s deal, so they’ll participate in the world championship tournament. USA Hockey recently made the news official with this press release.
The press release confirmed a report that the contract will last four years, while financial terms were kept confidential. (Team members had been seeking a living wage to represent USA Hockey.)
“Our sport is the big winner today,” Team captain Meghan Duggan said. “We stood up for what we thought was right and USA Hockey’s leadership listened. In the end, both sides came together. I’m proud of my teammates and can’t thank everyone who supported us enough. It’s time now to turn the page. We can’t wait to play in the World Championship later this week in front of our fans as we try and defend our gold medal.”
As much as many of us suffer during a trip to the dentist, few can fathom the horrors hockey players often go through when a puck, stick or fist finds their teeth/mouths. Consult this vintage PHT post from 2010 if you want to cringe, a lot.
Couture, Wilson said, did not need to have his jaw wired shut after a deflected puck caught him in the mouth on Saturday when the Sharks played the Nashville Predators.
“Hey, he can speak and eat … and his jaw isn’t wired shut!” Yeesh.
To little surprise, Couture isn’t playing on Tuesday. As far as the Sharks next three games (Thursday, Friday and Sunday), that remains to be seen.
As an aside, consider this: on the same day Jonathan Drouin‘s celebrating his birthday after helping the Lightning win, Couture is lucky if he can force down some birthday cake. Life: it isn’t always fair.