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Caps even series, Ovechkin benched?

Guest JackStraw

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It was surprising, though, to see the team keep Alexander Ovechkin on its bench through most of the third period in Thursday's one-goal win. The Russian sniper was limited to just four shifts and a total of 1:58 in the final frame, including a paltry 15 seconds in the final 14 minutes of the third.


I watched most of the game but didn't notice that Ovechkin was benched in the 3rd. Holtby looked great, the Caps actually look like a playoff team so far.

I did notice that at the end of the game, there was a faceoff in the Caps zone with about 9 seconds left. After the puck was dropped, about 5 seconds elapsed before they started the clock. The league says they were aware of it and would have disallowed the goal if Boston had scored after time should have expired. Could have been ugly.

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The Capitals entered the third period of

Game 4 on Thursday night with a one-goal lead, and as Boston pushed in attempt to tie the contest, Coach Dale Hunter turned to his most defensively-responsible forwards to carry the load down the stretch.

One player who didn’t take part in that show of team defense for the majority of the third, though, was Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals’ star left wing played only 1 minute 58 seconds in the final frame and just 15 seconds in the final 14 minutes of regulation.

Hunter attributed the captain’s low ice time on Friday to line-matching and wanting to have his shut-down forwards out against the Bruins’ top lines. It’s not the first time Hunter has benched Ovechkin in favor of more defensive-oriented players. But over the course of Ovechkin’s seven-year NHL career, it’s been far from a common occurrence for the Russian winger to sit out the bulk of the third period in a one-goal game.

“We were matching lines and they were going back with the [Patrice] Bergeron line a lot. Sometimes, some lines get shortchanged a bit but they do whatever it takes to win the game,” Hunter said. “It’s not a decision it’s just your game plan, what you’re go into. We’re matching lines.”


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Pretty common knowledge Ovechkin is a selfish player. Not exactly the guy you want out there in a close game. You're down 2, sure , put him out there for his 2 minute shifts (I hate playing the same position as shift hogs like this guy)

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