Todd Reirden calls Alex Ovechkin ‘incredibly passionate’ after 10 minutes of misconduct, sarcastic applause for officials
Captain of the Washington Capitals Alex ovechkin was essentially kicked out of the Capitals’ 5-2 loss in Game 6.
Ovechkin gave the officials a sarcastic applause and unleashed a torrent of profanity after being whistled for hitting Saku Maenalanen at 1:08 to go into the third period. The referees responded in kind by giving Ovechkin a 10-minute foul, sending the future Hall of Famer to the showers early.
After the game, Capitals head coach Todd Reirden said that while Ovechkin could have handled the situation differently, he admired Ovechkin’s passion for the game.
– Washington Capitals (@Capitals) 23 april 2019
“He’s an emotional guy who cares a lot,” Reirden said in his post-game press conference. “You look back a few years ago, some people talked about his lack of care, four or five years ago, and I think it’s far from it. It’s about wanting to win. Emotionally, he wears it on his sleeve. That’s not how we want to handle him, but I think a bit of it shows his passion and desire to win. He thinks he has a huge goal for us there that isn’t cleared on a loose puck that he can see, which we can certainly see from the bench, it’s not completely covered. So it’s difficult. You would like to handle these situations differently. Like I said before, five years ago they would be like why doesn’t he react and get angry? And now he’s incredibly passionate about trying to do whatever he can to push our team to the next level. And he knows he will do everything in his power to help us do it. “
Reirden then used the comments to boost his confidence in his team for Wednesday’s Game 7.
“I expect him to get emotionally involved from the puck drop at home and I believe in our team,” said Reirden. “I believe in our ability to play in great games with the squad that we have – 90% of those who have been through that. Yeah, we’re dealing with injuries and tough stuff, but that’s what we’re working for and I’m really looking forward to seeing my team play in this seventh game.
Ovechkin felt robbed after scoring what appeared to be the tying goal midway through the third period. The Russian machine jumped into a loose puck in front of Petr Mrazek to equalize, but officials waved the goal because they decided he had touched Mrazek’s pad.
The Capitals contested the call on the ice. Minutes later, the NHL situation room in Toronto confirmed the decision on the ice. After officials announced that Ovechkin’s goal was indeed not a goal, the Great 8 could be seen yelling “that’s f * cking bullsh * t.”
In his final quarter-game, Ovechkin greeted the officials with a enraged sarcastic applause.
“I don’t want to be a villain or anything like that, but it wasn’t fun,” Ovechkin said.
A Google search suggests that this may be the first misconduct Ovechkin has received since 2010 after boarding Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell.
During the sixth game, Ovechkin score a goal and had 5 hits in 21:27 of ice time. Ovechkin has four goals and four assists in the series so far. He has more playoff goals than any other NHL player since the 2008 playoffs.