(Jonathan Newton/WASHINGTON POST)

Why the decision to sit Ovechkin now:

“He’s had some nagging injuries for a while now that have bothered him, and like you’ve read, we’ve only had one game in six days. So we thought this would be the best time to get completely healed up so by the time he starts playing again he’ll be one hundred percent healthy.”

Does he have multiple injuries?

“Okay, injury. He’s probably got more aches and pains than the normal guy because he a) is a physical player, and b) he gets hit more often. But he’s just sore.”

Did his early-season slump have anything to do with these injuries?

“I don’t want to make excuses for him and Alex wouldn’t make excuses for himself, but I don’t know. It all could but it may not. It depends on how you guys want to spin it.”

Is it ironic that he will miss time now that he’s been playing well recently?

“If you’ve also seen that he hasn’t practiced with the team in a while, too. He wants to feel better. He doesn’t like waking up every morning and feeling like he’s got to go through an hour of just doing stuff to get ready to practice or to play. He wants to feel healthy. The playoffs are very important to him and he wants to be at his best when we arrive there.”

What’s he feeling?


Does this have anything to do with the knee-on-knee hit with Detroit’s Darren Helm?


Has it been bothering him for a while?

“Would you guys quit it? He’s sore, it’s going to be maybe 7-10 days. That will be it.”

Did Ovechkin fight the team on the decision?

“There was no fighting on it.”

If this were a playoff game, would Ovechkin play?

“You guys are trying. I don’t know, probably not.”