Boudreau Defends Fined Ovechkin
UNIONDALE, NY -- Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau came to the defense of Alex Ovechkin on Saturday morning, after the superstar forward was fined $1,000 for his alleged "slew-foot" of Atlanta's Rich Peverley on Thursday.
"It's a dangerous play, so I'm glad the league is looking at those things," said Boudreau. "But I don't think whatever Alex does there is ever with the thought of injury. I don't think anything he does is malicious."
After the Capitals' morning skate on Saturday in preparation for a game on Long Island against the Islanders, Ovechkin seemed both relieved and a bit embarrassed.
On the lack of suspension, Ovechkin said, "It is good I don't miss any games." But on the play and the fine he said, "It is a bad situation for me and I don't look good right now."
After a rare point-less performance in Washington's 5-4 win in Atlanta Thursday, coupled with the league punishment, Ovechkin is primed for the game against the Islanders. For the second straight game he'll be without linemate and master playmaker Alexander Semin, said by Boudreau to be "sick and sore." Semin did not make the trip but skated Saturday at the team's practice facility in Virginia. "He's doing better," reported Boudreau.
Saturday night is the first head-to-head meeting in the NHL between Ovechkin and Islanders' 2009 first overall pick John Tavares. Ovechkin told FanHouse that he has met Tavares once -- at the 2008 World Championships in Quebec City. "He's a great guy," said Ovechkin. "He loves to play hockey -- which is the most important thing."
Tavares returned the compliment from his fellow first overall pick: "He loves the game and he loves to show it. His passion is incredible."
Ovechkin said he hasn't seen Tavares play in the NHL yet, but knows the 19-year-old will be a good player. "He was the first overall pick," said Ovechkin. "He has to be good."