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Russian head coach takes jab at Alex Ovechkin after loss to Finland

Alex-Ovechkin-RussiaSpoiler alert — the Russian national hockey team broke the hearts of its home fans on Tuesday at the Winter Olympics. Finland simply out-hustled the Russians and was the better team for three periods, advancing to the semifinals where they will take on Sweden. Alex Ovechkin was very little help in the 3-1 loss.

Ovechkin may have been fatigued, but there were several moments in the third period where he looked like he was not skating hard. Russian head coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov was quick to call him out by name after his team was eliminated.

”Tough to explain the loss, of course, why scored so little,” Bilyaletdinov said, according to Puck Daddy. “Players who score so many goals for their clubs, like Alex Ovechkin who scored 40 goals for his club [didn’t score]… Right now I cannot explain that.”

Ovechkin scored 1:17 into Russia’s first game of the Olympics, and that ended up being his only goal of the tournament. He is currently leading all NHL scorers with 40 goals, so you can understand why his performance was disappointing.

A lot of the blame will be placed on Ovechkin’s shoulders, but he was not the only one who failed to fulfill expectations. In fact, plenty of people are blaming Bilyaletdinov for the loss against Finland since he chose to start goalie Semyon Varlamov over Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped all seven shots he faced after Varlamov was pulled.

Ovechkin may have been expected to carry the team, but the disappointment is shared from top to bottom. Winning in front of the home fans isn’t always easy. Russia showed us that in Sochi.

Alex Ovechkin has Russian flag on his Olympic skates

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Russia is one of the favorites to bring home a medal in hockey in front of its home fans at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. If Alex Ovechkin, who is having a fantastic year with the Washington Capitals, can be the prolific scorer he is capable of being, Russia could very well win the gold.

And if they don’t, Ovechkin will still be wearing the pride of Russia on his feet. Most hockey skates are black, but Ovechkin’s Olympic skates are painted with the colors of the Russian flag.

Many have predicted that Ovechkin will be the tournament MVP in his home country. He has already won the award for most patriotic skates.

Photo via Twitter/Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin takes puck to face during practice, gets a nasty cut (Picture)

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The only thing worse than taking a puck to the face and gashing your chin open during a game is taking a puck to the face and gashing your chin open during practice. Alex Ovechkin could attest to that, although the Washington Capitals star seemed to take it quite well.

According to the Washington Post, Ovechkin took a puck to the face during Thursday’s practice and had to leave to get it stitched up. As you can see from the photo above, Ovie shared a couple of pictures of the injury on his Twitter account. That one was after he received 22 stitches. This is the before, which was captioned “It’s hockey hahaha.”

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Alex Ovechkin is engaged to girlfriend Maria Kirilenko

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Alex Ovechkin was so bored with the NHL lockout that he decided to get engaged. Just kidding — I’m sure Ovie loves his tennis star girlfriend Maria Kirilenko very much, which is why he decided to pop the question on the last day of 2012.

Ovechkin tweeted the photo you see above on Monday before making the following announcement:

Good for him. The two have been dating for over a year now (more pictures of Kirilenko here). The people of Washington, D.C. may not be enthused because they don’t seem to like Ovechkin very much anymore, but the engagement gives us something to talk about regarding an NHL player. With the way things have gone with the lockout, those moments aren’t easy to come by.

H/T Eye on Hockey

Alex Ovechkin voted ‘Worst Local Athlete’ by Washington magazine readers

When Alex Ovechkin first broke into the league with the Capitals back in 2005, visions of Stanley Cup championships were dancing through the heads of Washington fans. Ovechkin dominated the league in scoring for several years, but recently it seems as though he has started to wear out his welcome. His production has been down and he has not been able to lead the Capitals to a championship in seven seasons. For those reasons and others, Ovechkin was recently named the “Worst Local Athlete” by readers of the Washingtonian.

As you can see from the photo above that Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog shared with us, the blurb under Ovechkin’s dishonorable mention reminds readers that he was voted the area’s local hero just a year ago. My how things can change in a hurry.

With all the struggles Washington teams like the Redskins and Nationals have faced in recent years, the voting reflects how situations like this one have resulted in Ovechkin’s image taking a huge hit. He may be talented, but the bottom line is he’s not very likable at the moment.

Alex Ovechkin falls over boards during line change (Video)

The Capitals may have beaten the Bruins 2-1 to tie their first-round playoff series at two, but Alex Ovechkin was the big loser for this embarrassing moment. Ovechkin was trying to hop over the boards during a line change, but it looks like he lost his concentration, along with his balance, and tumbled over. The hits keep coming for Ovi, who has only scored one goal in the series.

Alex Ovechkin taunted by ‘Crosby’s better’ chants from Winnipeg fans (Video)

The Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby debate has been on the back burner for much of this season with Ovechkin having a down year and Crosby sidelined most of the campaign with lingering concussion symptoms. But that didn’t stop Winnipeg Jets fans in attendance for Friday’s contest against the Capitals from invoking Crosby’s name to get in Ovechkin’s head.

Ovechkin, who was also subjected to constant booing and an “Ovi sucks” chant, actually enjoyed the jeers, as it turns out.

“It’s always nice when they talk about you and then get the chants. I love it,” Ovi told The Washington Times. “It’s great for the league, it’s great for us.

“Everybody thinks who’s better, who’s not. For me, it’s nice atmosphere and I love that kind of stuff.”

The Jets went on to win the game, 3-2, and Ovechkin finished with zero points. Meanwhile, Crosby had two assists in his most recent game on Thursday. So, blame Ovi’s mom.

Kudos to Puck Daddy for the video
Photo credit: Bruce Fedyck, US Presswire