It’s got to be tough to decide to sit your star player in a crucial situation late in a game, but that’s exactly what Bruce Boudreau did the Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin with his team down 4-3 as time was running out in regulation.
“I just didn’t think Alex was going to score the goal at that time,” Boudreau told the Washington Post’s Katie Carrera. “You go with your gut feeling.” There’s a joke there, I’ll let you make it.
It’s intangibles like this that separate cool headed coaches and game managers from emotional fans. From the 400 level, I was looking for Ovi to get the puck, juke the defenseman, cut in and take a quick low shot. His patented move didn’t work against the Ducks for the 58 minutes and Boudreau knew that it wouldn’t in the last two.
Ovi was on the ice when Nicklas Backstrom scored the game winner.
No matter what Ovechkin thought of the move, it proved to be the right one as the Capitals walked off the ice with a 5-4, free wings winning, overtime victory.