Staying Out There. . .for Too Long?
One interesting side note to Game 1 between the Rangers and Capitals was the unusual way in which Washington coach Bruce Boudreau deploys star winger Alex Ovechkin.
Or the way Ovechkin deploys himself.
Ovechkin played 26:07, which is a lot for any forward. But what was really remarkable was that he only took 20 shifts.
That meant Ovechkin's average shift was 1:18, far too long in a league where coaches love the 45 second shift to maximum energy and manpower.
But it gets better.
Ovechkin took one shift of 2:35, and one of 2:08. Sometimes those numbers can be distorted somewhat by penalties and TV timeouts, but they're still long shifts. He also took five others that were 80 seconds or longer.
Hard to imagine any hockey player can maximize his play staying out there that long, although Ovechkin did have 28 shots attempts and 13 actual shots-on-goal.
His improvisitional teammate, defenceman Mike Green, took 30 shifts for a total of 30:47, including one of 4:07. His final two shifts of the game were 2:35 and 2:29 as the Caps tried desperately to tie the game before losing 4-3.
Numbers don't mean everything. But these ones are eye-popping.