Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin Benched, or Dale Hunter "Matching Lines?"

March 5th, 2012 by Dave Nichols Leave a reply »
The Washington Capitals have been a team in turmoil much of the season, failing to live up to the "Stanley Cup or bust" hype that greeted them in many preseason prognostications.

In Sunday night's 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers—a second straight home shutout—another chapter was written in the drama that continues to unfold in Washington's Verizon Center.

Alex Ovechkin was benched. Or maybe not.

What we do know is immediately after the Flyers' Eric Wellwood scored what would be the only goal of the game at 7:51 of the second period, the "Great Eight" took just one more shift the entire period. Coach Dale Hunter after the game claimed it to be a matchup decision.

"I definitely was matching lines," Hunter responded when asked why Ovechkin missed much of the rest of the period. "I didn't want him against [Jaromir] Jagr and Jagr's line. He turned the puck over on the goal. That's what caused the only goal of the game."

"It was not a benching," Hunter continued. "I was matching lines. He played a lot in the third. He had his chances and the goalie stood tall."

To be fair, Ovechkin's lin ...

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