In yet another piece of evidence that the spotlight is on Alex Ovechkin more than most other athletes in professional sports, the Capitals star caused a bit of a stir when he was seen joking around with New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk after the Capitals' 5-0 blowout loss last night. The image was disconcerting considering Ovechkin is the captain of a team that's struggling. He did not look like the blowout loss meant much, and his coach, Bruce Boudreau, seemed visibly upset at the proceedings.
But Boudreau appeared to change his tune when asked about the exchange today. He defended his star player, saying the whole thing got blown out of proportion. Via Corey Masisak of CSN Washington, who first reported the story.
"We make big things about nothing. We want to make big things about nothing. After every game in every arena in new hockey you will see ppl talking to their countrymen and it happens everywhere. When we win at Verizon I don't see anyone reporting when they come over and have guys waiting at the door to talk to any of our guys. Just because I look over we make a big stink about a non-story."
Boudreau seemed upset, but keep in mind, it was him who fueled the fire of the story when he said "I'll reserve my thoughts on that, if you don't mind." Anyway, Ovechkin himself also defended his decision to talk to Kovalchuk. Via Masisak again.
"Why do we have to talk about it? We are friends and we don't see each other a lot. We just see each other."
The whole incident is a pretty small one in the grand scheme of things, but it's kind of jarring to see how Boudreau and Ovechkin have reponded to their own actions. Having not been there myself, I might be messing up the tone of the comments, but they come across as overly defensive here.