WASHINGTON (AP) - Alex Ovechkin is the NHL's reigning MVP and scoring champion, and he entered Saturday second in the league in goals and points.
So how is it possible, Ovechkin's coach with the Washington Capitals wants to know, that the left wing was not voted in as a starter for the All-Star game?
"It's dumb," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said before Washington hosted the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
Ovechkin finished sixth among Eastern Conference forwards, trailing two players from the Pittsburgh Penguins - Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin - and three from the Montreal Canadiens - Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay.
Each of those five players received more than 1.2 million votes; Ovechkin got fewer than 500,000.
"It's not right the best player in the game is not a starter," Boudreau said. "But it is what it is. We want to get the fans involved, and they've got the right to vote for whoever they want."
Ovechkin entered Saturday with 26 goals, one fewer than league leader Jeff Carter of Philadelphia, and 52 points, eight behind Malkin.
"Everybody that knows hockey knows that ... Alex would be in the starting lineup if it went on merit," Boudreau said.