Alex Ovechkin benched: Did Capitals captain disrespect Bruce Boudreau?


Alex Ovechkin sits behind Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau on the bench as Boudreau talks to the players on the ice during a timeout with just more than a minute and a half left in regulation. (Toni L. Sandys/WASHINGTON POST)

Alex Ovechkin wasn’t among the group sent out on the ice to push for the tying tally during that stoppage and as he sat back down on the bench, he muttered something. Ovechkin wasn’t put out on the ice after a stoppage when the puck went into the benches and play resumed with 1:02 remaining, either, which proved to be the shift that wound up creating the tying goal.

The video of the incident is here, and you can determine for yourself what was said.

• On Hockey: Boudreau was right to bench Ovechkin. Now what’s next?
•Q&A: Tarik El-Bashir and Katie Carrera, 1:30 p.m.

Mike Keenan, a Versus analyst and former Stanley Cup winning coach, took it as a sign of disrespect by Ovechkin toward Boudreau.

“When is a teacher a great teacher? When the student is ready to learn,” Keenan said. “In this case, Alex Ovechkin has to show a lot more respect to his coaching staff and to his team. There’s a response here that’s not a positive response. I give Bruce Boudreau a lot of credit for this decision. He’s delivering a message to a star player and his team. That kind of behavior on the ice is not acceptable, details have to be looked at if we’re going to be a championship team.

“It took a lot of courage for Bruce to do that. A lot of people will question if he had the courage to make that call. He did. The response was great. Eventually his top player come out and responded and made a great assist [on the game-winner in overtime].

“That’s tough. That was tough to make those decisions with your top players. And if the players are respectful, which…top players most of the time are. But he’s got to learn that. I don’t want to see that behavior from him again on the bench ever. You want to be a top player in this league, show respect.”

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