"I think the big thing is, it’s more a respect thing," the Boston Bruins star said Thursday, according to WEEI's Scott McLaughlin. "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.
"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.”
The NHL fined the Capitals $100,000 for "player violations" of the league's COVID-19 mandates Wednesday, citing social interactions between members of the team in close contact and not wearing masks. The league then added Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Ilya Samsonov, and Dmitry Orlov to its COVID protocol-related absences list.
Shortly thereafter, the Capitals revealed the players had gathered in a hotel room, and Ovechkin said he regretted doing so. Samsonov tested positive for COVID-19 and immediately went into isolation.
All four players entered quarantine and will miss at least the next four games, beginning with Friday night's matchup against the Buffalo Sabres. Coincidentally, Washington's first game after that stretch is a home date with the Bruins on Jan. 30.