Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Sunday, April 1, 2007
I telling you, that Semin dude, no matter how talented he is, is a bad influence for Ovechkin and for the team. Mark my words...
By Tarik El-Bashir (Washington Post)
...left wing Alexander Semin sat in the penalty box for inexplicably picking up -- and throwing -- the puck from near the blueline into the corner after being knocked to the ice. Officially called "closing hand on puck," it was easily the strangest infraction called on a Washington player this season.
Glen Hanlon responded by benching Semin, the team's second-leading scorer, for the entire third period.
"It was a 2-1 hockey game and we were playing great," Kolzig said. "But whatever reason those types of penalties always come back to bite you in the butt. And it did. Until we eliminate those things we're not going to go anywhere as an organization, and we addressed that after the game."
Afterward the players met for about 15 minutes behind closed doors. Although no one would divulge exactly what was said, when the meeting ended, all-star left wing Alex Ovechkin emerged from the locker room and smashed his stick repeatedly against the wall and a trash can until it broke into four pieces, according to those who witnessed the episode. Ovechkin's iPod and headphones also were destroyed, crumpled in the hallway.
Ovechkin and Semin, who are close friends and who were linemates on Saturday, left without speaking to the media. Asked why he thought Ovechkin was so angry, Kolzig said: "I'm sure he's probably frustrated with what happened and in the meeting. And that's really all I'm going to say. It wasn't targeted at Ovie. He's obviously our guy. But it was something he didn't want to hear."
Update from Capital's Insider:
While no one wanted to speak publicly about the subject or tone of the players-only meeting after Saturday's 5-2 defeat in Tampa, I'm told that much of the discussion centered on the team's penchant for taking selfish penalties, Semin's throwing of the puck specifically, and the recent rash of costly turnovers. No player was spared.
But Ovechkin, who is Semin's closest friend, took some of the criticism personally and reacted by letting loose on one of his sticks (and iPod) afterward.
"I was [angry], we lose the game and that's it," Ovechkin said today. "I think [Semin] understands his mistake. He said sorry and that he doesn't want to do it again. All the time I'm looking forward. It's over. It's emotion. Sometimes it happens to me. Sometimes it has to be done."