Brad Marchand calls out Alex Ovechkin, Capitals for COVID-19 protocol violation

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Justin Leger
·2 min read
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Marchand calls out Capitals for COVID-19 protocol violation originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Washington Capitals will be without Alex Ovechkin and three other players for at least four games after they were placed on the COVID-19 protocol absences list Wednesday.

The organization was fined $100,000 due to a violation of the NHL's health protocols resulting from Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov being in a hotel room together during the team's recent road trip. According to the NHL rules, players must have their own individual hotel rooms for road trips and cannot have anyone in them.

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While some believe the punishment may have been over the top, Brad Marchand has no sympathy for his East division foes. The Boston Bruins forward candidly shared his thoughts on the Capitals situation.

“I think the big thing is, it’s more of a respect thing,” Marchand said Thursday. “We all want to be able to play, and there’s rules put in place for a reason. They’re not that hard to follow. We all know the consequences of breaking the rules, and we know what the rules are. So they brought that on themselves. We’ve all been told very heavily what we’re allowed to do and what we’re not allowed to do, so it is what it is on their side of things.”

Samsonov tested positive for COVID-19, leading to all four players being forced to miss at least the next four games. Marchand explained that not only did the players put the rest of the league at risk, they hurt their own team in the process.

“I think it just comes down to having respect for one another,” Marchand said. “You can easily hurt your team by breaking the rules and potentially getting it and having to quarantine. It’s pretty simple to follow the rules. If you get it by chance, it is what it is. It’s almost inevitable. But if you’re going to put yourself in a situation, that’s on you.”

It's certainly ironic that Marchand, who has spent much of his career bending rules and getting under his opponent's skin, is the voice of reason. But the 32-year-old veteran is spot-on. The NHL put the rules in place to keep players safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage, and the entire season can be put at risk by ignoring those guidelines.

The earliest Ovechkin and his three Capitals teammates can return will be Jan. 30. Coincidentally, that game will be against Marchand and the B's.