Alex Ovechkin has been depicted as a quiet leader, one who lets his composite stick do the talking.
The Washington Capitals captain used the Bauer shaft to say plenty over the past couple of days -- troubling because they were off days. He broke one stick in frustration on Wednesday and then used another to slash teammate Dennis Wideman in a scuffle on Thursday.
"He said play against me hard like in a game, so I did," Ovechkin told reporters.
Maybe Wideman should have said to "play hard like in some games." Harsh? Hardly. It's not far from what former teammate Olie Kolzig and Capitals general manager George McPhee said this week: Ovechkin has issues with work ethic.
"Part of it he's probably not feeling as loved as he used to be," said Kolzig, who is the team's associate goaltending coach. "He brings it on himself sometimes. . . . He has to get back to being the way he was in his younger days and maybe not get wrapped up in the rock-star status that comes with being Alex Ovechki...