A new strategy against Ovechkin: warm up the building. :-)
By Damian Cox, The Star, Nov. 21, 2009:
The plan was to suffocate Alex Ovechkin.
With Francois Beauchemin requesting a chance to play against the Washington star as often as possible, and with Ovechkin struggling to catch his breath in the heavy air of the ACC, the Maple Leafs were able to squeak out their fourth triumph of the season by a 2-1 shootout score.
"I'd take a couple of steps and I couldn't breathe," said Ovechkin after the loss. "I'm not happy with how I played, and I'm not happy with how my line played."
Certainly, the Capitals looked either tired or casual, feeling perhaps they could easily handle a last-place Leaf outfit by simply relying on their immense skill.
"I thought (Ovechkin) was better tonight," said Caps coach Bruce Boudreau. "I thought he was better than he was last night. It's coming."
Boudreau wasn't sure what to make of Ovechkin's complaints about the "atmosphere" inside the Air Canada Centre.
"It's definitely hotter than a lot of the buildings we play in," said Boudreau, whose team plays in the attendance-challenged Southeast Division. "But hey, those are the guys out there doing the work. I'm usually just getting worked up."
Corey Masisak, TWT, Nov. 21, 2009:
Two interesting things about Ovechkin's night:
1) He said after the game that the arena was really hot and "after I took two steps I coudln't breathe." Now, before you say, 'How can a hockey arena be hot?' I can say that this was the warmest building I've been in (and considering how warm it regularly is at Verizon Center, that is saying something). Some arenas I have to wear my jacket the whole game. Others I don't. Only at Verizon and now here have I ever been sweating during a game. So he might not be crazy.
2) Leafs coach Ron Wilson said Francois Beauchemin came to him at practice yesterday and said, "I want Ovechkin.' So he played against Ovechkin. A lot. And he did pretty well. How much of that was Ovechkin (he was critical of not moving his legs and skating enough) and how much was Beauchemin is a gray area, but kudos to him for not shying away and putting in a strong night.
Nov. 21, 2009, Great Eight talks to media after shootout loss to Toronto.
Tarik El-Bashir, Washington Post, Nov. 21, 2009:
"We didn't move our legs [including] me," he said. "I'm not happy how I play today. I'm not happy how my line play today. We score one goal, but we have to score more. We have more ice time than everybody, so we have to use it. We had a couple of chances on the power play, we don't score."
1 goal, +1, total ice time 26:38, average shift 01:09, 6 shots on goal, 4 attempts blocked, 2 missed, 1 hit, 1 giveaway, 1 takeaway, 1 shot blocked by Ovi.