Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella takes blame for heated exchange with Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin

NHL News

With a 5-1 victory for his Blue Jackets, Columbus coach John Tortorella may have saved his harshest words during the game for Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, as the two exchanged words prior to the start of the second period.

Tortorella said he made a diving motion in reference to Ovechkin, who fell to the ice after being hit in the face at the end of the first period — a sequence that ultimately resulted in a match penalty for the Blue Jackets’ Matt Calvert.

Ovechkin didn’t back down from Tortorella’s words and stood facing Columbus’ bench jawing with the coach. After the win, the Blue Jackets’ third in four games, a contrite Tortorella took the blame for the heated exchange.

“That’s my fault,” Tortorella said of the verbal sparring. “I thought he dove and I signaled to him. I thought he dove and he took exception.

“I have no business making any gesture or saying anything to a player. So, that’s not on him. That’s stupid on my part.”

Ovechkin brushed off the entire situation when asked about it after the game.

“Oh, it was nothing,” said Ovechkin, who scored his league-leading 39th goal of the season Monday. “We just talk about how’s everything, what’s going on? You know, he’s a nice guy.”

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