Keenan no fan of staged celebration

 

Most valuable player Alex Ovechkin may be winning plenty of new fans--prompting the Washington Capitals to raise ticket prices during the worst financial crisis in a generation -- but he can't count Flames coach Mike Keenan among them after his theatrical goal celebration in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

 
 
 
 
 

Most valuable player Alex Ovechkin may be winning plenty of new fans--prompting the Washington Capitals to raise ticket prices during the worst financial crisis in a generation -- but he can't count Flames coach Mike Keenan among them after his theatrical goal celebration in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.

After becoming the first 50-goal scorer in Capitals history with a first-period strike against the Lightning, Ovechkin marked the moment by putting his stick on the ice and pretending to warm his hands over it.

Keenan said he didn't see the performance, but admitted that he's not a fan of such displays.

"No, I don't like it," he said. "You can celebrate enough without adding the additional entertainment factor to it."

And the Flames' bench boss isn't the only one who thinks such staged celebrations should be kept off NHL ice.

After his side's 5-2 defeat, Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet offered a frank critique of the Russian's performance.

"I think he's a terrific player. He went down a notch in my books after that," he said. "It's not something I like. It's hard for me to accept, to see something like that in our building."

Ovechkin wasn't without his admirers though, with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell and coach Alain Vigneault among those giving the routine a thumbs-up.

"I liked it, I loved it actually," Mitchell said. "If it's Willie Mitchell scoring his fourth or fifth goal of the season, it might be considered showing up a team. But this is Alex Ovechkin.He plays the game with a level of passion."

ICE CHIP: Patrick O'Sullivan and Ales Kotalik scored in a shoot-out to give the Edmonton Oilers their third straight win, 5-4 over the slumping Chicago Blackhawks Friday night. Edmonton, 4-0-3 in its last seven games, strengthened its hold on seventh place in the Western Conference and closed within a point of sixth-place Columbus.

 
 
 
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