The Antidote for Sean Avery
But Ovechkin skated away. That was the game plan. As much as coaches prepare their teams for dynamic offensive players or seemingly impenetrable goalies, they also have to make their players aware of guys like Avery -- and how to handle them. "We told everybody to ignore him," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau told me after the game. "He's very effective at what he does. There were a couple of times when he was yelling in between the glass. When everybody's staring straight out and not paying attention, what's the use of yelling? So he stopped doing it."
With Avery hounding Ovechkin, defenseman (and game-winner) Mike Green and anyone else wearing a red jersey, that's easier said than done -- hell, even his own teammates want a piece of the pest. But Boudreau was confident a player like Ovechkin would be able to withstand Avery's antics. "Ovie doesn't doesn't do something silly. If you know Ovie, he just takes numbers, and the next time you touch the puck he's a runaway truck."
Boudreau told me he has some insight into the mind of Sean Avery, having coached him for three games with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL, back when Avery was with the Los Angeles Kings.
What was that like? "It was three games with Sean Avery," Boudreau said dryly.