Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Lightning reaction to Ovechkin goal celebration, what’s yours?
Posted Mar 19, 2009 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Mar 19, 2009 at 11:37 PM
TAMPA - The Lightning were not happy about the soccer-style celebration Alex Ovechkin put on after he scored his 50th goal of the season during the first period on Thursday in a 5-2 Washington victory. If you didn’t see it, you can look at the video below (it’s at the very end), but essentially after he scored he put his stick on the ice and waved his hands and fingers over the stick acting as it it was too hot to handle. Ovechkin said after the game that it was a preplanned antic that teammates were supposed to be a part of, but they bailed on him when he started. Ovechkin even tried to wave them over to get them to join him.
After the game, there was plenty of negative reaction to the celebration from the Lightning locker room, particular some of the veteran players. Here’s what they had to say:
Right wing Marty St. Louis: “He’s a fun player to watch, but to do that to a team that’s . . . we’ve had better days, there is no reason to embarass us and embarass Mac [Mike McKenna] like that.’‘
Left wing Ryan Malone: “He is the game’s most dominant scorer, but to do that, especially on our ice, I took it as an insult, personally. It’s embarrassing, this isn’t football. I know it’s his 50th goal ...’‘
More from Malone: “I was in the [penalty] box at the time, but you remember something like that and make sure he pays the right way. He’s going to do what he’s going to do and it’s up to us to react the way we should.’‘
Center Jeff Halpern (Washington’s captain during Ovechkin’s rookie year): “I don’t mind the spontaneous celebrations, but that kind of stuff is … I don’t even know the word for it. It’s up to our team to do something about it.’‘
Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet: I think he’s a top-notch player, but he went down a notch in my book after that. It’s hard for me to accept, to see that in our building. I grew up as a player in the days of the [Philadelphia] Spectrum and if that happened in the first period like that, it would have been a three-hour period.’‘
McKenna: “After I stopped him on that breakaway [in the third period], I could have done a spin move or something like that, but I didn’t.’‘
Take a look at the video and make your own judgement.