Alex Ovechkin had an eventful night in Columbus. The Russian machine scored his league-leading 39th goal of the season and fired eight shots on goal – the third time he’s had eight shots or more in his last four games (8, 11, 5, 9).
But it was Ovechkin’s second period, uh, discussion with Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella that received all the attention afterwards.
At the very end of the first period, Matt Calvert butt-ended Ovechkin in the chin, bloodying the three-time MVP. The scrappy Blue Jackets forward was given a match penalty for intent to injure and ejected from the game. When Ovechkin returned to the ice to start the second period, he and Torts screamed at each other.
NBC Sports Washington’s Tarik El-Bashir asked Ovechkin about the incident in the locker room postgame.
— Tarik El-Bashir⌨️🎙🏒 (@TarikNBCS) February 27, 2018
“The camera showed you and Tortorella talking,” El-Bashir began. “What led to that?”
“Um, nothing,” Ovechkin said. “We just talk about how’s everything, what’s going on? He’s a nice guy.”
Ovechkin flashed a quick smile and chuckled.
Another reporter asked Ovechkin if he was hit in the chin.
“Yeah with the stick,” Ovechkin said. “I don’t think he wants to do that. It was kind of dangerous play. I almost lose my teeth.”
Tortorella also addressed the incident with Blue Jackets media.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 27, 2018
After initially saying “I’m not talking about it,” Tortorella answered a followup and took full responsibility for the incident.
“That’s my fault. That’s my fault,” the fiery coach said. “I thought he dove and I signaled to him. I thought he dove and he took objection. I have no business making any gesture or saying anything to a player. That’s not on him. That’s just stupidity on my part.”
Headline photo: NBC Sports Washington
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