Ovechkin needs to show restraint

Ovechkin needs to show restraint
October 30, 2011, 3:16 pm
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It's amazing how Alex Ovechkin can dazzle you with an unbridled passion on one shift and infuriate you with a selfish penalty on the next.

That was certainly the case Saturday night when Ovechkin dominated the Vancouver Canucks for two periods, scoring two goals, drawing a penalty and inflicting his brute strength on his opponents.

But all that kinetic energy was negated by a third-period penalty that turned the momentum back in the Canucks' favor and led to a 7-4 loss, the Caps' second in a row after starting the season with seven wins.

With 4:15 gone in the final period and the teams locked in a 4-4 tie, Ovechkin was stripped of the puck behind the Vancouver net by gritty defenseman Kevin Bieksa. Frustrated at himself, Ovechkin spun back and drilled defenseman Alexander Edler to the ice for a senseless interference penalty.

A little more than 2 minutes later, with Ovechkin just exiting the box, Henrik Sedin scored what proved to be the game-winning goal. The Canucks fans enjoyed the turn of events and spent the rest of the night taunting Ovechkin with chants of "Ooooh-veeee."

For the most part, Ovechkin has kept his emotions in check this season. He's taken just three minor penalties in nine games.

But if coach Bruce Boudreau is serious about holding players accountable he'll need to remind Ovechkin that penalties like the one he took at a crucial part of Saturday night's game will not be tolerated.