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Report suggests part of the reason Alex Ovechkin is struggling is that his mother won’t let him grow up

By his own standards, Alex Ovechkin has not played well over the last two years. In his first five NHL seasons, Ovechkin scored 46 or more goals and had over 100 points four times. Last season, he scored only 32 goals and had 85 total points. He is on a similar pace this season, having netted only 27 goals and tallying 24 assists in 65 games. The question is why? In an in-depth piece about Ovie’s struggles, the Washington Post speculates that his mother may have something to do with it.

When you ask those whom Ovechkin trusts most, the name most likely to come up first is Tatiana Ovechkin, his mother, a former athlete herself who lost another son at an early age. Ovechkin and his mother cling tightly to one another, and both the player’s parents shuttle back and forth from Russia to Washington. Ovechkin still spends much of his offseasons in Moscow. Those who know Ovechkin say his mother exerts considerable influence — good and bad — on her son’s life.

“That’s his biggest problem — his mom,” said a person familiar with the situation. “She did what she did for Alex. She played a huge part in his growth, in his career. But it went too far. I understand it’s family, I understand they’re very close — it’s not that. The question is: Is he ever going to grow up? I’m not only talking about hockey. She’s in his life in many other areas — relationships with girls, with friends, with everyone. It’s bizarre.”

Another source familiar with the Ovechkin family said their obsession with money has distanced him from his teammates in the locker room, claiming that no matter how much money Alex earns it’s “not enough” for the family. A number of theories have been tossed around as to why Ovechkin’s play has slid over the past couple seasons. Some say he has a poor relationship with the team while others speculate he once used performance-enhancing drugs and is no longer on them. Whatever the case may be, the “mommy won’t let me grow up” theory is by far the most unusual.

Thanks to Eye on Hockey for passing the story along

Blues’ Andy McDonald Calls Alex Ovechkin Skipping All-Star Game ‘Classless’

Alex Ovechkin is currently serving a three-game suspension for a hit against Pittsburgh’s Zbynek Michalek that the NHL deemed illegal. Whether he deserves the suspension or not has become overshadowed by Ovechkin’s decision to skip the NHL All-Star game this weekend. Under the current rules, a suspended player is allowed to participate in the All-Star game festivities. However, Ovechkin has decided that since he is suspended he will stamp his feet and voluntarily extend the suspension to cover the exhibition as well.

“My heart is not there,” Ovechkin said according to the Washington Post. “I got suspended, so why I have to go there?”

For most players, taking part in the All-Star game isn’t a chore. Many of the fans want him there because he is one of the game’s best talents, but apparently this is Alex’s way of trying to punish the NHL for their decision.  Fans and players around the league have not taken kindly to the decision.  Here is what St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald had to say about it on Twitter:

McDonald is right, and I like the way he included Ovechkin’s Twitter handle in the tweet so he can’t be accused of saying it “behind his back.”  In the world of social media, an @ mention qualifies as saying it to someone’s face. What a childish move by one of the game’s biggest stars.

Tennis Player Maria Kirilenko Is Alex Ovechkin’s New Girlfriend (Picture)

Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin confirmed Wednesday that he is dating tennis player Maria Kirilenko. The hockey superstar sent the following tweet from his Ovi8 account: “Me and my girlfriend Maria….she is my queen!!!!”

Kirilenko, the No. 27 ranked player in the world, reportedly recently broke up with boyfriend Igor Andreev, who is also a tennis player. The Montreal Gazette speculated two days ago about a possible relationship between Ovie and Maria. They noted that Kirilenko was practicing tennis in Arlington, Va. of all places, and that she had been to a recent Caps game.

We’re just wondering what happened to Valeria Sokolova, a Russian model who was very popular here at LBS. She and Ovechkin supposedly were dating as of last August. I guess he’s gone the Rory McIlroy route and moved on to dating a fellow athlete.

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Did Alexander Ovechkin Call Bruce Boudreau a ‘Fat F***’? (Video)

The Washington Capitals trailed by two goals with less than half a period left on Tuesday night against Anaheim but somehow came back and won.  The Caps got two goals from Nicklas Backstrom (including the game-winner in OT) and a goal each from Joel Ward, Dennis Wideman and Troy Brouwer to put together a 5-4 comeback win.  Surprisingly, none of the goals were scored by Alexander Ovechkin and he failed to pick up an assist.  With his team trailing 4-3 and 1:27 remaining in regulation, Washington coach Bruce Boudreau drew up a play that did not involve Ovechkin.  Alex was not pleased.  Check out his reaction around the 50-second mark:

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Snoop Dogg Sports Alex Ovechkin Jersey

If ever a sports fan could be considered an equal opportunity bandwaggoner, it would be Snoop Dogg. This dude is all over the place, at every sports event, and willing to support any team. He’s tight with the Beckhams, tight with Matt Barnes, and he’s been seen wearing Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Harrison Barnes jerseys, and everything in between. Now CBS Sports shares with us that Snoop was wearing an Alex Ovechkin jersey at a recent concert in Baltimore:

Wearing the jersey didn’t bring the Caps any luck on Sunday — they lost to the Lightning in overtime. Normally I’d say that Snoop is showing some disrespect to Mario Lemieux and his Penguins, but like I said, the guy plays to the home crowds. Still, nothing will ever top this when it comes to rappers wearing jerseys. Nothing.

Video: Alex Ovechkin Gets Dennis Wideman’s Back After Tuomo Ruutu Hit

When we write about Alexander Ovechkin, he usually just spent a lovely evening carving up an entire defense and scoring.  That’s what superstars do.  Because players like Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are capable of such feats, their teammates tend to go to extreme measures to protect them on the ice.  If you hit one of those guys, you automatically slap a target on your own back.  Apparently Ovechkin is willing to return the favor, as he displayed Tuesday night after Tuomo Ruutu hit Dennis Wideman.  Check it out:

We know Ovechkin has a temper, but it’s nice to see superstars go out of their way to defend a teammate.  Ovechkin wasn’t satisfied with just putting a lick on Ruutu to send a message — he kept going after him.  Guys like that are the ones you want on the ice with you, for reasons other than their scoring ability. Thanks to The Big Lead for the video.

Rate Alex Ovechkin’s New Girlfriend

Alexander Ovechkin has a new girlfriend, and in my opinion she’s not very hot.  I obviously wouldn’t tell him that because he’d probably shove me or something.  Maybe the reason I feel that way is that I’m not into girls who look like they’re going to fall over if a strong breeze comes along but hey, I’m sure Valeria Sokolova — a Russian model — is a lovely girl and the two of them are very happy.  I just feel like a guy who is worth millions and is capable of this can do a tiny bit better, but who am I to try to play Cupid?

Anyway, the point is it probably wouldn’t hurt her to eat something.  Actually it might hurt her career, but I have a feeling it would benefit her health.  I’m going to give Sokolova a “6″ right now.  I’ve filed her under my smokin’ hot sports girlfriends for now, but she’s on probation until further notice.  Here are some photos of Alex Ovechkin’s girlfriend Valeria Sokolova, courtesy of Sportress of Blogitude:

ALEX OVECHKIN GIRLFRIEND VALERIA SOKOLOVA PICTURES

UPDATE: Alex Ovechkin has a new girlfriend, and it’s a Russian tennis player.