Alex Ovechkin To Skip All-Star Game To Take Full Advantage Of Capitals’ Bye Week


Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will miss NHL All-Star Weekend in San Jose from January 26-27 to take full advantage of his team’s bye week, which will take place from January 24-31. Ovechkin, 33, was voted by the fans as captain of the Metropolitan Division’s team for the All-Star Game. 

Ovechkin was voted as captain of the Metropolitan Division for the 2016 All-Star Game due to injury and was suspended for the Capitals’ next game following the All-Star Break. He will likely have to serve a one-game suspension again. The Capitals’ first game after the All-Star Break is on Friday, February 1 against the Calgary Flames.

Each team must have one representative for the All-Star Game. The All-Star rosters will likely be announced sometime next week.

Ovechkin leads the NHL with 29 goals and the Capitals with 45 points.

Ovechkin has played in seven All-Star Games (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2018). He is the franchise leader in All-Star game appearances, goals (seven), assists (seven) and points (14). Ovechkin was the captain of the Metropolitan All-Star team last season.

He told reporters after the Capitals’ practice on Wednesday that at his age, his body needs a rest and wants to regroup for hopefully another long playoff run this upcoming Spring.

While his six-game goal-scoring drought may be an indication to some that he may be injured, Ovechkin and head coach Todd Reirden both shot that possibility down.

In practice, he was reunited with center Evgeny Kuznetsov and forward Tom Wilson on the top-line, the same first line the Capitals used in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. Forward Jakub Vrana skated on a line with center Nicklas Backstrom and forward T.J. Oshie, whom Ovechkin skated on a line with before the Capitals shook up their lineup during their 6-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Monday.

Reirden said that the team will decide which game Ovechkin will sit out closer to the All-Star Break. Ovechkin has played 202 consecutive games.

Reirden said that “we’re hoping to” see defenseman Matt Niskanen return to the lineup against the St. Louis Blues tomorrow night. Niskanen, 33, has missed each of the Capitals’ past two games with an upper-body injury.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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11 Responses to Alex Ovechkin To Skip All-Star Game To Take Full Advantage Of Capitals’ Bye Week

  1. DayOne Caps Fanatic says:

    I can’t wait to hear the HOWLING from Buttman and his staff. How dare any NHL player DISS our All Star Game! Harrumph! Perhaps he will SUSPEND Ovechkin twenty games for missing the All Star Game!

  2. Drew Stowell says:

    1. Can he defer the captaincy to Wilson?
    2. Can we get rid of the bye week yet? It doesn’t really help, it ruins momentum, and teams end up with a terribly compressed schedule because of it. This year, the first bye week is right before the All-Star break. Those teams will be way off track when play resumes.

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