Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is being skewered by TV analysts for his late-game flare-up with coach Bruce Boudreau in Tuesday nights 5-4 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks.
According to TV replays, Ovechkin appears to direct an expletive toward Boudreau after the coach decided to bench him for the final minute of regulation with the Caps trailing by a goal.
Versus analyst Mike Keenan said he had no problem with Boudreaus decision but took issue with Ovechkins reaction.
"In this case Alex Ovechkin has to show a lot more respect to his coaching staff and to his team, Keenan said. Theres a response here that's not a positive response.
I give Bruce Boudreau a lot of credit for making this decision. He's delivering a message to the star player and his team: That kind of behavior on the ice is not acceptable: Details have to be looked at if we're going to be a championship team.
Keenan went on to say, I don't want to see that behavior from him again on the bench -- ever. You want to be a top player in this league, show respect."
TSN analyst Bob McKenzie said Boudreau is doing what many believe is overdue in Washington holding Ovechkin accountable for his play.
"The more important thing is that Bruce Boudreau and the Washington Capitals are finally laying down the hammer here and sending a message to the rest of the players, McKenzie said. "We'll do it to Ovechkin, we'll do it to you. Change the culture."
For his part, Ovechkin said all he right things after the game in a brief interview with Versus analyst Keith Jones, saying he felt the line of Brooks Laich, Joel Ward and Jason Chimera deserved to be on the ice because they were playing unbelievable.
Its Ovechkins actions on the bench that will be scrutinized for days to come.