Alex Ovechkin only played 15:08 in last night’s 4-3 overtime loss in Toronto, and today Capitals head coach Barry Trotz took the blame.
“That’s on me to get him the ice time,” Trotz said, per Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.
“Sometimes, that’s situational. Sometimes, that’s the zone starts. His minutes should be — I can get those up.”
Ovechkin logged 2:28 on the power play in Game 3, much of it on a failed 5-on-3 early in the second period. That meant he only got 12:40 at even strength, the seventh-most among the 12 Caps forwards.
There was a 10-minute stretch in the third period, when the game was tied 3-3, when Ovechkin barely played at all. That was partly due to a couple of Washington penalties, but the coach could have found a way to get him out there more.
“It wasn’t based on play,” Trotz assured. “I though Ovi was playing terrific, and it’s on me to get him a little more ice time, no question.”
Ovechkin averaged 18:22 of ice time during the regular season. That was down from the 20:19 he averaged last season, in an effort to keep him fresh for the playoffs.
In other Caps news, defenseman Karl Alzner is still out. He’ll miss his second straight game tomorrow.