Alex Ovechkin’s defensive play is once again under the microscope.
To see why, watch this:
That would be the New York Rangers scoring the winning goal last night at Madison Square Garden in Game 3 of their series with Washington.
You may have noticed early in the play when Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh stepped around Ovechkin after taking a pass at the point from the eventual goal-scorer, Derek Stepan.
“Step’s got pressure, so he didn’t get the puck in my wheelhouse, and I kind of caught it off-center,” McDonagh told the Daily News. “And then I was seeing Ovie standing straight-legged, like he was tired, so I tried to go back against him and keep the play alive.”
So…was Ovechkin tired?
Capitals coach Adam Oates doesn’t think so.
In fact, Oates thinks it was his fault.
“I don’t think he was tired,” Oates said today, per the Daily News. “I think that I didn’t do a good enough job getting him in his rhythm, probably because of penalties.”
According to the official stats, Ovechkin had been on the ice for 1:07 before Stepan scored. That’s a pretty long shift for most forwards, though not all that uncommon for the Capitals’ captain.
Granted, how tired one gets during a shift also depends on the situation, not just the length. Playing defense, for example, takes more effort than standing and waiting for one-timers on the power play.
Tired or not, Ovechkin could’ve done a better job containing McDonagh. (And while we’re at it, Nicklas Backstrom could’ve picked up Stepan a bit quicker.)
Washington still leads the series, 2-1, though.