Washington Capitals Stars Alex Ovechkin chose his fourth career All-Star Game.
“I have to prepare for the second half of the year,” Ovechkin said after his team’s 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. “I need to be healthy and focus on different things.”
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Due to NHL rules, the Capitals captain will have to sit either in the final game before the All-Star break or in the first game back – but not too worried about that.
“The most important thing is not the regular year, it’s the playoffs,” Ovechkin said.
“You don’t want to miss the game, but the rules are the rules,” continued Gulitti’s thread. “I’m healthy, thank God, and I made that decision because I have to be in good shape and I have to be ready and good in the playoffs.”
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Ovechkin was voted captain of the Metropolitan Department and once again thanked fans for re-voting, saying: “It’s a tough decision, obviously, to be the captain and miss the All-Star Game, but I have to the best for me and for the team. “
In 2012, Ovechkin skipped the event while serving a suspension and in 2016 sat down to tend to a lower body injury. Last season, he sat down to rest for the playoffs, making the All-Star 2020 the second consecutive year he has retired.
Now 34 years old, the star forward is averaging just one point per game for the first time in three seasons (36 points in 38 games). The back-to-back Rocket Richter trophy winner today ranks fourth in goals with 23.