Now that a few days have passed since Washington coach Bruce Boudreau sat Alex Ovechkin in the final moments of a game Tuesday night against Anaheim, the coach said Friday morning the story didn't deserve the attention it received.
"There was no football, there was no basketball, there was nothing else going on," Boudreau said after the Capitals' morning skate in Raleigh. "So they made a big deal out of nothing."
The Capitals were trailing by a goal with 1:27 left in regulation when Boudreau called a timeout. He didn’t put Ovechkin on the ice then, nor did he do so with 1:02 left when there was another stoppage in play and he pulled goaltender Tomas Vokoun for an extra attacker. Nicklas Backstrom wound up scoring the game-tying goal with 42 seconds left, as well as the winner in overtime.
"It's all about accountability, but it was way overblown," said Boudreau. "[Ovechkin] wasn't benched or anything; he just wasn't chosen to go out the last minute. I've done it many different times with many different players. You have a hunch and you go with it. I just thought the other guys were going to score."
It was definitely emotional. I really appreciated the fans. It was a cool feeling and it felt special and the ovation there at the start and then you kind of feel funny out there standing by yourself. Thinking back, I was saying just a bit ago, you think back just trying to make the NHL and then you kind of reflect on all the years being able to play for a great organization here in Calgary and all the fun I've had so far in my career. I feel very fortunate and blessed.
— Boston forward Jarome Iginla on his return to Calgary, where he played for 16 seasons