The Washington Capitals fell this afternoon to the Columbus Blue Jackets in Overtime, but the bigger story was the injury that Alex Ovechkin sustained six minutes into the second frame.
Ovechkin collided with Raffi Torres and awkwardly fell to the ice. After getting up, he skated over to the bench in a slightly hunched over manner as Caps fans simultaneously rescinded their deposits for playoff tickets. His return was listed as “Possible”, but he never re-emerged from the locker room.
After the game, Alex addressed the media:
“I can’t tell you how I got hurt. It’s day to day, but just in case I didn’t go back on the ice.” Asked if he thought the injury was serious, Ovechkin said: “I don’t know.”
Now that coaches and players alike have adopted the Bill Bilichick-like strategy when it comes to revealing injuries, an answer like this should be expected. Even though nothing was clearly stated, replays show Ovechkin favoring his left shoulder.
What’s odd about the injury is it came on a relatively innocent looking collision. The style and speed at which Ovechkin performs is so intense, you would think he would get banged on one of those vicious checks that he leaves his feet sends the opponent into the middle of next week.
Try watching Alex play in a blowout, then watching him play in the playoffs…you will see the same energy level and desire. Ovechkin only knows how to operate at 110%.
Washington only has one game in the next four days, and then they will play at New Jersey and have a home-and-home series against the Panthers next weekend. For what it’s worth, the Caps are 1-3 in the games that Ovechkin has not played in.
Knowing the type of person Ovechkin is, he will want to play hurt…which is fine. Athletes do that all the time. But there is a difference between playing in pain and playing injured. Once you are hurting the team, it’s time to swallow your pride and enjoy a night off in the luxury box. And by leading the league in goals and points, I’d say he deserves one, too.