On the Ice with Isaac: Keys to Game Three
VOORHEES — How many superstars in the league take care of their own dirty work?
For one half of one game Alex Ovechkin had to put up with Sean Couturier shadowing him…until he put him out of the series with a crushing check along the boards.
The hit was clean as they come in a sport where increasingly players have to answer for thundering hits just because they made noise, but the Flyers didn’t complain much about the legality of Ovechkin’s heavy hit.
In Game 2 Brayden Schenn was the target. Replacing Couturier in the role of trying to shut down the Capitals captain, Schenn found himself along the boards near his own bench…and then quickly in the bench.
“I had one of two options: I had the option to take a hit and try and throw my shoulder a little bit into him or start skating up the ice and he was going to get all of me,” Schenn said. “It didn’t hurt at all. It was just one of those plays where I just happened to be over the boards.”
Through two games, both losses, Ovechkin has given the Flyers fits. He scored on the power play Saturday night from his office in the left circle. According to off-ice officials in Washington he has thrown 11 hits and been hit once — by Radko Gudas in Game 1.
“He’s 230 pounds that skates fast and can score goals,” the 195-pound Schenn said. “I don’t think we’ve given him a whole lot 5-on-5. Obviously he’s dangerous on the power play. He got his one chance (Saturday) on the power play and he made the most of it. We can still do a better job on him 5-on-5 and on the power play he’s still going to get his chances. He just sits there and waits for his one-timer. Our D have done a good job of getting in the shooting lanes and not giving him a whole lot.”
The Flyers could sure take a page out of his book, though, with physicality. He has about 15 pounds on Jake Voracek, the heaviest Flyer, and has found some success thanks in part to his hits.