Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin was benched for the team’s Tuesday game against the San Jose Sharks because he overslept the team's morning skate before the contest.
Ovechkin set his alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. Because he missed practice, he was told he wouldn't play. Washington was beat 5-0 by the Sharks. Shortly before the game, it was announced Ovechkin would miss the game for “personal reasons.”
"I made mistakes, so that’s why,” Ovechkin said according to the Washington Post on Wednesday.
Capitals coach Barry Trotz said the team tried to not make a big deal out of it Tuesday because it was a gameday.
“I’m sorry, it’s personal and that’s why it’s called personal,” Trotz said. “But he will be on the ice, and I expect him fully to be playing against the Chicago Blackhawks [on Thursday]. We could’ve used him tonight. He’s a great player. There’s no question about it. He’s our captain, he’s our leader, he can make us go offensively. But we didn’t have him today, and that’s no excuse. We’ve got to play way better. Our game didn’t stack up.”
Ovechkin, the Capitals' captain, had only missed 12 regular season games since 2010. He was reportedly at Verizon Center for the game, but did not partake in any activities. He showed up at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. game.
According to the Washington Post, Tuesday was the first game Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom had both missed since 2012. It was just the fifth time since 2007 that they were not in the lineup at the same time.
Backstrom is recovering from May hip surgery.
Ovechkin, 30, has led the NHL in goals the last three seasons and five times in his career. He has won the Hart Trophy three times as league MVP. In the Caps opener, a win over the New Jersey Devils, he scored a goal and added an assist.
- - - - - - -
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY