Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Ovechkin Doesn’t See Much Ice Time

from Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington,

Calling it a “benching” or “matching lines” is getting caught up in semantics.

Fact is, Capitals coach Dale Hunter sent Alex Ovechkin over the boards just once in a 12-minute span after his offensive zone giveaway led to the Flyers’ only goal in a 1-0 loss Sunday night.

It should be pointed out that Ovechkin’s linemates, Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer, also sat for nearly the same amount of time after the goal.

It was a clear message that turnovers that lead to goals are punishable offenses, no matter the perpetrator. So, what did the other Caps think of Hunter’s hardball tactics?

“That’s Dale’s department,” Brouwer said. “We need everyone going. We don’t have any time to babysit right now. It’s not the time of the year for that. Guys need to know what they need to do right now.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+ovechkin



Gotta say, I’m really, really unimpressed with Hunter as a coach. Not that I don’t think OV does some things over and over again that should get him benched (he does) but benching him because one stray turnover lead to a goal is too outcome-based for me to be comfortable with. If there’s a problem with what Ovechkin did, it’s the turnover, not that you got scored on. Sitting his linemates, too, who presumably did not make simultaneous turnovers, underscores the point.

It’s like saying “I’m going to tolerate you playing the wrong way all game every game as long as it doesn’t burn us. Oh, and even if you’re not the one who made the mistake, you better not get scored on or you’ll sit.” Well, whether or not stupid play burns you is often a matter of luck.

Same thing with Knuble. Scratching him because, for instance, you think you need more footspeed against, say, Toronto, and he’s been getting caught up ice makes perfect sense. Scratching him because his plus/minus has been bad is borderline superstition.

Posted by larry from pitt on 03/05/12 at 03:37 PM ET

Primis's avatar

If Hunter had been benched for turnovers, Hunter would have never gotten any ice time at all…

I’m just sayin’.

I don’t think anyone is impressed with Dale as coach, Larry.  He’s the joke we thought and figured he was.  They hired a name, not someone who could actually coach.

Posted by Primis on 03/05/12 at 03:58 PM ET


Yeah, figured he’d be a bad fit for this team. Didn’t think he’d be this dumb, though. Probably gave him too much credit.

Posted by larry from pitt on 03/05/12 at 05:56 PM ET


This is where a ‘coach’ overplays a superstar, Hunter, punishes him.. Score - 1-0. Go figure.
Seems the players have lost interest. Hopefully they can put the coach out of their mind as they make a final attempt at a playoff run.
Go Caps.
ps.—- bad year for OV, league suspends him for a laugher ‘hit’.
                          his coach benches him for a give away a miile from his net.
                            team complains about his conditioning - where are the coaches hiding?
                          the leagues last legit superstar needs to get on the ice, the more the better, for everyone. OV, TEAM, FANS, LEAGUE. (bizarre that Hunter and the nhl can’t figure that out). Oh yeh, he’s not Canadian.

Posted by larry billows from usa on 03/06/12 at 02:27 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com