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Posted at 4:20 PM ET, 11/23/2010

Boudreau comments on Ovechkin's conversation after NJ loss

By Katie Carrera

After putting the Capitals through more a practice without many pucks involved (more on that shortly), Coach Bruce Boudreau was asked whether he talked to Alex Ovechkin about Ovechkin and Alexander Semin's seemingly up-beat conversation with New Jersey star Ilya Kovalchuk following the Devils' 5-0 win over Washington.

"We make big things about nothing," Boudreau said. "We want to make big things about nothing. After every game in every arena you will see in the new hockey that people will be talking to their countrymen and it happens everywhere.

"When we win at the Verizon, I don't see anybody reporting when they come over and have guys waiting at the door to talk to any of our guys. Just because I looked over, now all of a sudden we make a big stink about a non-story."

The case here, which was first detailed by CSN's Corey Masisak, centered on whether such jovial conversation with an opponent was appropriate following such an ugly loss.

A lot has been made about what happened at Prudential Center on Monday night, and it was clear to everyone present at the postgame news conference that Boudreau wasn't happy with his players' laughter after the team's second shutout in as many road games. Asked then if the the interaction of the players bothered him, Boudreau said: "I'll reserve my thoughts on that, if you don't mind."

It's common practice for NHL players after games to meet with some opponents, especially those who grew up together or played together on national teams. As has been noted, Tomas Fleischmann talked with New Jersey's Patrick Elias on Monday night after the game as well. After nearly every game at Verizon Center, players seek out their friends for a postgame chat and linger in the hallways around the home and visiting dressing rooms.

That said, Ovechkin's conversation with Kovalchuk -- Semin left part way through to get on the team bus -- appeared a little more light-hearted than any one would expect after a lopsided loss, and the discrepancy in moods between that scene and the locker room did stand out.

But on Tuesday at RBC Center, there seemed to be no ill will harbored from the incident the night before. The Capitals as a whole treated the day in a businesslike manner, with many players citing their work ethic as the cause for the two straight shutouts on the road.

And Ovechkin turned his focus to finding the rhythm of his game, which has been absent in recent games; Washington's captain has watched pucks roll off his stick, committed a smattering of glaring turnovers and has seemed to be missing some of his usual spark. He has two goals in his past 11 games.

"Sometimes you feel good, you just have to work harder, when things are going wrong," Ovechkin said this morning when asked about his game lately. "I think about it all the time, what I have to do better and what's not working. I've talked to Bruce about it too. It will be okay. Things happen. I make mistakes but they will be better."

By Katie Carrera  | November 23, 2010; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Bruce Boudreau  
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Next: Updates on the injured Capitals


so everyone loves Ovie's personality except when he is honest about fat america women and his appeal for russian women more, everyone wnats russians and euros to be more social and active except when it's with each other. everyone wants to see that hockey players are people too, with real lives except when it's after a loss...ya ok. this is total BS. Ovie keep being you, even though I know you would even if everyone said stop. you are awesome!!!! i love you, your personality, you are raw, real. and sure you're in a slump but god forbid you are not allowed to slump, everyone else can but not u....please. maybe the rest of the team should step up for once and cover u rather then u having to step up and cover them.

GO Caps, Go Ovie!!!!

Posted by: capsfan387 | November 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

".....It will be okay. Things happen. I make mistakes but they will be better."

What his mistakes will look better. Didn't he mean to say things don't happen, has he forgotten already the caps got SHUT OUT.

Posted by: bqts | November 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Come on, really!? It is a game. Let it go. Players at the end of football games speak with opposing players because they are friends. This is done in front of everyone and they are laughing too. Get over it and move on. Otherwise you are taking the game too seriously.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | November 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse making mountains out of ant hills again. This is just like when Semin said he preferred to watch Kane over Crosby. Instantly became Semin slams Cindy war.

Good job BB, you tell that media where to stick it.

Nice write up Katie (obviously when trashing the media I exclude you). =)

Posted by: SeminAllOverTheIce | November 23, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I love OV's personality too but do you think Yzerman would be chit chatting after losing 2 games 10-0? He is the Captain and needs to act like it. Do you think Dale Hunter or Langway would be chuckling with the opposing team after that game?

Posted by: Caps73 | November 23, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

@leftcoastcapfan(or whatever)

I don't know what your deal is buddy. But, if you think cUp winners lose games like that twice a week, you're nuts!!! I don't know how many longtime championship hockey clubs you've watched. I've seen too many having watched Patrick divion hockey for so many years. Let's skip the Canes and Bolts (short term champions).

Did you ever notice the swagger the Pens, Devils, Isles, and (Messier led) Rangers had when they came into our building. They didn't take "nights off". We might have beat them, but the effort was there. Why ?
Because they were "true champions". These teams had pride, character, heart, AND skill.

And I'll go way back, even though most of you will say it is too far back to matter. We stunk when Bobby Clark was the still Captain of the Flyers. Clark came into our building and beat us "silly" every visit. I hate the guy for what he did to our club. But a two time cUp winner who has juvenile diabetes, you would think would take a "night off" against an expansion disaster like the Caps.

No, Bobby Clark pounded us like a true champion. He "brang it" every time he hit the ice. That's why they love him in Philly, and we hate him (and admire the heck out of him). Where's our Bobby Clark ?
Who on this team really wants to win cUp ?????????????????????

The tone Clark set is stll demanded by Flyers fans. That's why they're always knocking on the door. That's why they'll win a cUp, while we watch in shock because our team is so much more talented.

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | November 23, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

As a captain, Ovie needs to set the tone and direction for the team. Chatting happily with someone on the team who just embarrassed your team is not the way to do it. I know Ovie and Kovie may be pals off the rink, but you don't let that show after a spanking like that. Ovie has been a non-factor this season and has not been a leader. The Caps need somebody to take charge of the team and get some of these slackers off their butts. Ovie is not doing it for himself or the rest of the team. Right now, I don't know that there's anyone on the team who could play that role, except maybe for Laich. I know the team is still up there in points, but it doesn't have the heart or character it seemed to be building over the last couple of seasons. BB isn't providing that either. It is disappointing to see because this points to another early playoff exit.

Posted by: Puckdawg69 | November 23, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Just because you a great player does not mean you will be a good leader. oVI proves that time and time and time and time again. BB lets him do whatever he wants. oVI is becoming the Lebron James of hockey. Great let the superstar run the team.

Posted by: pkme | November 23, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

We really have to stop deifying athletes. None of these guys are perfect. None of these guys eat, sleep and breath hockey 24/7, 365. The best example is Mario Lemieux (for you joek) For all his greatness, did you know Mario didn't train at all in the summer until his 30s? By his own admission, he'd show up to camp out of shape and play his way through it. Some how the Pens managed to win 2 Cups.

Ovi and Semin joked with a friend after a bad regular season loss. Probably should have moved it away from the coach, but not really a big deal unless you have ulterior motives.

Posted by: ablake70 | November 23, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

best hockey fight I ever saw was Scott Stevens vs. Bobby Nystrom when he was just an 18yr rookie and I was a 14yr 9th grader...two years later, working at a gas station, Gaetan Duchesne, Greg Adams, and Lou Franceschetti were all regulars and I spoke with them frequently. Man, the stories they shared (previous games, fights and animosity, plans for retribution, etc...I once asked Gaetan to tell Stevens to pummel Duane Sutter for something that had happened previously, and, sure enough, he did; thats Caps hockey!!!)....I remember watching Mike Gartner fight Dave Brown,and i mean fight, nothing like Semin's fights. 5-0 blowouts to Atl. and NJ, and no team response, is DISCONCERTING to say the least. We lack heart, passion, and determination; we need someone like Danny Carcillo to mix things up and introduce a little emotion and intensity (sorry...Chimera, Hendricks, Bradley aren't in the same class of what we need...where's Dale Hunter when we need him?) Just once I'd like to see some emotion from Backstrom, Fehr, Fleishman, Knuble, Laich, Gordon, Steckel, Johansson, Shultz, Alzner, Carlson, Sloan, Poti...has anyone ever see them get ticked off in the course a game, and then play like they're ticked off? we need to play with an attitude and show some HEART

Posted by: vermontcaps | November 23, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Its November.

Posted by: DCFanatic | November 23, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Wow.... a Bruce coached team taking nights off? Not playing 60 minutes? No, kidding?

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | November 23, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

CapsFan acts like things like this didn't happen in the good old days. Like when players would fight during games, and then have beers afterwards. CapsFan expects guys to be mortal enemies on and off the ice; they want Ovechkin and Crosby to fight in the seats at an awards show. Frankly, I'd rather have guys get over it and get onto the next game than to mope about it for weeks afterward.

It's pathetic that this is even a story. It's only a reporter that doesn't have much to do anymore serving up stuff like this.

Posted by: pga6 | November 24, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

So Hunterforcoach, are you saying that Cup winners never had a bad night? Wow, I'm no statistician but I'd be willing to bet that EVERY eventual Cup winner has had more than their share of off nights during their championship season. Yes, the Caps have lost their focus, but I don't think it's unprecedented.

Posted by: AmyS1 | November 24, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Can you people please gain a little perspective?

1983-84 SC Champion Gretzky-led Oilers in Feb 1984, 5-game losing streak:
Lose 9-2 to WASHINGTON
Lose 5-3 to NYI
Lose 5-3 to Philadelphia
Lose 4-1 to Boston
Lose 11-0 to Hartford
Outscored 34-9 in 5 games.

1991-92 SC Champion Lemieux-led Penguins in Oct 1991, 3-game losing streak:
Lose 4-2 to New Jersey
Lose 4-1 to Montreal
Lose 8-0 to WASHINGTON (!!!)
Outscored 16-3 in 3 games.

Those are but two examples I happened to find. This kind of stuff happens in hockey, no matter how good the team. Let's get over it and move on already.

Posted by: paperboy76 | November 24, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse


Exactly. The reason people did not know about those things form the good old days is that there was much less sports coverage and no internet medium to spread worthless information that would otherwise never make the paper.

Posted by: sgm3 | November 24, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

paperboy, great info there. People need to put things in perspective. Especially hunterforcoach. If you are a long-time Caps fan, you should know all the absolute garbage years and how not to freak out when the team hits a speed bump. A week ago the Caps were tops in the league and about to sport a double-digit division lead before November ended. All teams go through slumps. I'm more concerned about Ovechkin getting out of his; he still hasn't scored goals like the old #8 since the Olympics.

The defense sucks, the goalies are unproven, the coach can't motivate players for 60 minutes, blah blah blah and the Caps are still tops in the East.

Posted by: calhokie | November 24, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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