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Boudreau Blows Up Over Ovechkin Celebration

Like many subjects of debate and controversy, the story of Alexander Ovechkin’s 50th goal celebration is being milked by the media for all it’s worth. It should have been over and done-with Tuesday, when Ovechkin himself addressed the media about his celebration. In case you forgot, I’ll perpetuate the very discussion I’m trying to diffuse by showing the celebration once more:

Said Ovechkin of his celebration:

“It’s a big number, I think for everybody. If I get it, why [can’t I] celebrate? If you win the lottery — a million dollars — you go to the bar and drink a lot…I scored 50 goals and I just celebrated.”

Did he really need to give any more of an explanation than this? He hit 50 goals and put some extra mustard on the celebration. It’s really not a big deal. Scoring one’s 50th goal isn’t exactly something that happens too often for players anymore in the NHL. Ovechkin hit a major milestone, and became only the third player in history (Gretzky, Bossy) to score 50 goals in three of his first four seasons. Exuberance is warranted! God forbid a hockey player shows some emotion after scoring a goal. Good for him for not being one of the “robots” he speaks of at the press conference.

But let me get to the main point of this article: Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was asked once more about the celebration, specifically whether the Lightning would get retribution for it in tonight’s rematch. And that was like dropping a feather on a giant pile of garbage, causing the entire pile to crumble. Boudreau went off, criticizing the media for continuing to harp on the celebration story and looking for fresh angles. Boudreau said in today’s press conference:

“You want to go there? It’s 10 friggin’ days since it happened. We have talked to Tampa’s coaches. We have said our speech. The people that are bringing this up are you guys. Nobody cares about it anymore. But you guys want to bring it up because you want to see a riot, then you want to talk about retribution. It’s the dumbest thing in the world. You’ve got to have better stuff to talk about…Certainly hockey has got more stuff going on. The playoff races are so intense and so tight that we’re talking about a three-second thing. I feel like Allen Iverson talking about practice, for crying out loud. It’s dumb. Let’s get over it.”

As a junior member of the media, I accept partial blame for Boudreau’s outburst. I mean, here I am, writing about this story now. But I do not blame Boudreau at all for being so irritated at our relentless beating of this horse that died about a week ago. He already acknowledged that he wasn’t the biggest fan of the celebration, but also that he and the Lightning organization have put it behind themselves. Tampa players know it’s smarter to stop him from scoring again rather than drill him over a celebration. Even Rick Tocchet knows that. Why do we ask questions like these? I have to question the knowledge of the hockey writers that asked this. Players don’t police each other over celebration antics. If that were true, Theo Fleury would have been demolished in the playoffs for his over-the-top goal celebrations.

Bottom line, we really need to let this one go. Let Boudreau focus on hockey for a change. The Lightning don’t even care about it anymore. The two teams talked to each other about the celebration and it’s over now. So we the media should follow suit.

What other bloggers are saying about this:

  • The 4th Star: “Ten days is a lifetime to give a non-story.”
  • Pittsburgh Sports ETC: “Well, Charlie Brown, you might forget what happened 10 minutes ago, but I don’t think teams that were made to look foolish will.”

March 27, 2009 - Posted by | hockey | , , , , , , , ,

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