Analysis: Alex Ovechkin tests positive for COVID-19, absent from NHL All-Star game
‘Remember that year when Dave Semenko replaced Wayne Gretzky at the All Star game?? Yeah, me neither’
The Capitals Left Wing, Alex Ovechkin, missed the NHL All-Star game after testing positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 2.
With 29 goals in his 46 games played this season, Ovechkin was selected to be the captain of the Metropolitan Division team for the All-Star Game. Ovechkin’s captain position was then awarded to Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux.
According to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols, “A significant portion of Players appear to be exiting isolation after five days, with a lab-based PCR test that has a CT value >30.”
Ovechkin’s absence left two Capitals at the All-Star game: Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson. Kuznetsov originally replaced The New York Rangers’ defenseman, Adam Fox, but with 14 goals this season, he was undeniably worthy of an all-star position.
Ovechkin is a seven-time All-Star and to say Capitals fans are disappointed Wilson replaced him would be an understatement. Some fans took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
Wilson, who was selected to replace Ovechkin, is quite a controversial figure in the NHL. Wilson has notoriously injured other NHL players. From 2017 to 2018, Wilson had four suspensions out of his 105 games played.
“I've never seen a guy that does everything possible to get into a game and hates coming out of games and hates not being able to contribute and help his team win,” Capitals’ coach Peter Laviolette said, when asked about Ovechkin’s absence. “For that, first and foremost, he's probably upset. The All-Star Game, it's a nice nod, but he's certainly one of those big figures that goes to the All-Star Game. It was well-deserved this year, the nod and I'm sure that he's upset with that, too.''
While it is disappointing that the seven-time All-Star did not make an appearance at the All-Star Game, these precautions were put in place by the NHL to keep the other players healthy.
Although fans missed Ovechkin, The Metropolitan Division’s win made up for the absence of the beloved Ovechkin. The Metropolitan Division won the 2022 All-Star Game 5-3, against the Central Division.