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#pounditFriday, July 30, 2021

Articles tagged: Alex Ovechkin

Capitals coach praises Alex Ovechkin for ‘imposing his will’ during playoffs

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin is two wins away from winning his first Stanley Cup, and in the eyes of his head coach, it couldn’t be more deserved.

Ovechkin turned in another exemplary performance during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday evening, scoring his 14th goal from the playoffs and counting himself unlucky not to score more. Coach Barry Trotz praised his playoff run after the game in the highest possible terms.

Trotz is likely right. Ovechkin has been on so many Capitals teams that failed in the playoffs and he seems more driven than ever to ensure that it doesn’t happen again this season. He’s obviously one of the best players of his generation, but he’s playing with incredible intensity and such confidence that he wasn’t even put off by touching the Prince of Wales Trophy.

Alex Ovechkin jokes about Vladimir Putin wishing him luck ahead of Stanley Cup Finals

Alex Ovechkin

Alexander Ovechkin is set to play in the first Stanley Cup Final of his illustrious career, but no, the Russian president has not called to wish him good luck.

Ovechkin briefly had the media going after saying that Vladimir Putin had called him ahead of Monday night’s Game 1, but quickly clarified he was joking.

It would have been believable. Putin is a passionate hockey fan, and he and Ovechkin are mutual admirers, which has forced Ovechkin on the defensive in the past due to the Russian president’s controversial actions and beliefs. There may not be a phone call coming, but Putin may well be rooting for Ovechkin no matter what.

Alex Ovechkin bucks superstition, touches trophy

Alex Ovechkin trophy

Alex Ovechkin bucked a recent superstition after clinching his first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Ovechkin scored the first goal en route to a 4-0 Washington Capitals win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night.

As his team celebrated their big victory, Ovi came over to be presented with the Prince of Wales Trophy for winning the conference. Although some believe it is bad luck to touch the trophy because the focus should be on the bigger prize of the Stanley Cup, Ovechkin was not fazed and touched the trophy.

What does the data say? The superstition is overrated.

This is from Trib Live two days ago:

“According to a study done by the blog, teams that touch the conference championship trophy since 1997 are 10-7 in the Stanley Cup Final. Teams that don’t touch the trophy are 10-13.”

Maybe Ovi knew what he was doing. Oh yeah, and the Vegas Golden Knights also were not afraid to touch the trophy. The teams will meet in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Monday.

Watch: Officials miss interference call involving Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin interference

Officials missed an interference by Dan Girardi on Alex Ovechkin during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night.

The play in question happened in the first period but went uncalled.

That play was indicative of how Game 6 was played. It was hard-hitting with a lot of intensity considering the Tampa Bay Lightning were a win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. And don’t cry for Ovechkin too much either, as he got his licks in too.

Mamma Lucia restaurant running Capitals specials inspired by Alex Ovechkin

Mamma Lucia meal

A small Italian restaurant chain in Maryland is running some specials for Washington Capitals fans that are inspired by Alex Ovechkin.

Last week, a story published on The Players Tribune by Brooks Orpik brought to light a great tradition Ovechkin has. The Washington Capitals star eats food from Mamma Lucia before every home game. And he really goes all-out.

From Orpik’s story:

But also, seriously: The guy’s diet is borderline inspiring.

We have a chef here who prepares our pregame meals. Ovi always orders the same thing — Mama Luccia, which is this pasta dish that’s like chicken parm with noodles, bread, cheese, the kind of thing you want to take a five-hour nap after eating. He makes a big display of it too. There’s no shame. It’ll be eleven in the morning, way before anyone is really thinking about eating lunch, and Ovi will walk into the dining area yelling, “Mama Luccia! Mama Luccia!” I don’t know. It’s weird, but it seems normal now.

Then, a few hours later, he’s outskating everyone on the ice, knocking guys on their asses and sniping pucks wherever he wants.

Orpik got a few details wrong. First, the restaurant is spelled Mamma Lucia. Secondly, it’s not a dish prepared by the team chef, but rather food that’s ordered from the restaurant. The tradition goes back years to when Ovechkin was a rookie and the team would order food from the restaurant. Over the years the players have changed towards eating healthier food prepared by the team chef, but Ovechkin has stuck with Mamma Lucia.

“It’s a tradition from day one,” Ovechkin told ESPN about his meal. “They have the Italian food always when we came to the rink, and it’s very delicious.”

Since that story came out, Mamma Lucia has received tons of publicity and is trying to take advantage of all the people looking to eat the Ovechkin meal.

The restaurant is running a Capitals playoff special that includes the chicken parmesan dish that Ovechkin orders.

The whole story is awesome. Ovechkin’s diet is nothing like what you would expect from an elite athlete (unless you’re Tim Lincecum), yet he competes like a star after eating it. And now the restaurant is receiving tons of good publicity for it.

Watch: Alex Ovechkin blasts power play goal for Caps

Alex Ovechkin goal

The Washington Capitals experienced a great turn of fortune late in the first period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.

The Caps were up 1-0 when Tampa Bay appeared to score. However, the goal was waved off after a replay. Immediately after that bad break for the Lightning, Alex Ovechkin scored a power play goal to make it 2-0 Washington. Check out his huge blast on a one-timer:

Ovi has been a monster in the postseason. That was his ninth goal of this postseason, to go along with seven assists.

Look: Alex Ovechkin trolled by sign in penalty box

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin was trolled by a harsh sign while in the penalty box during Game 3 of the Washington Capitals’ playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Ovechkin took a trip to the penalty box in the second period of the game for cross checking Sidney Crosby. A sign posted up against the box trolled him as it depicted a cartoon version of him holding up a bag of golf clubs instead of the Stanley Cup.

Ovechkin has never won a Stanley Cup and has a reputation for being a postseason choker. In fact, his teams have been eliminated in the playoffs by the Penguins three times, which makes the joke even more satisfying for Penguins fans.

Ovechkin scored the winning goal on Tuesday to give his team a 2-1 series advantage, so he definitely got the last laugh. But the sign he had to face was pretty funny.

Alex Ovechkin takes shot at NHL commissioner Gary Bettman over Olympics

Alex Ovechkin

The landscape of Olympic hockey looks a lot different in PyeongChang than it looked four years ago, and that is largely because the NHL decided it will not allow its players to compete in the Winter Games. Something tells us Alex Ovechkin is still a little bitter about that.

Ovechkin, who has spoken in the past about how important winning an Olympic medal would be to him, was asked on Tuesday if he has been watching the Olympics. He used the opportunity to take a shot at NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.

Ovechkin’s mother played basketball for Russia and won two Olympic gold medals, so you can understand why a chance to do the same means so much to him. He tried to fight the NHL’s decision last year but eventually waved the white flag.

“I wanted to make this statement so that my words are clear and nobody misunderstands what I am saying. The Olympics are in my blood and everybody knows how much I love my country,” Ovechkin said in a statement last September. “Ever since I was a kid and all the time I have played in the NHL, NHL players have played in the Olympic Games. We never have to make choice between our team and our country my whole career. I love the Capitals and my teammates here as much as I love my country and I know all the other NHL players feel the same for their teams. We should not have to be in position to make this choice.”

No one is expecting any type of “Miracle on Ice” situation with NHL players not allowed to compete in PyeongChang, but their exclusion has led to some heartwarming moments for other hockey players. That’s one silver lining Ovechkin and others can focus on.

Alex Ovechkin buys clothes for homeless man in Edmonton

Alex Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin is receiving some attention for a good deed done on Friday.

Ovechkin and some of his Washington Capitals teammates were out shopping during an off day Friday in Edmonton. While they were out, Ovi noticed a man on the street who didn’t have a shirt, according to The Washington Post. Ovechkin decided to buy a hat, sweater and winter coat, and gave it to the man.

The Twitter account for a cafe in Edmonton tweeted about what they had seen.

Ovi also texted his wife to tell her what happened, and she posted a screenshot of their conversation on her Instagram live story.

Ovechkin talked a little on Saturday morning about what happened and said the man did not recognize him and was surprised and shocked.

“It’s something I think where if you see a guy almost naked out there with that kind of temperature, I think every human can do something, you know? Warm coat or a shirt or whatever,” Ovechkin said of his gesture.

Evgeni Malkin is basking in Alex Ovechkin’s misery

Alex Ovechkin

The Washington Capitals may have won the Presidents’ Trophy for the second consecutive year, but that meant nothing earlier this week when they were ousted in yet another Game 7.

For Alex Ovechkin, it was just another bitter moment in a long history of bitter moments. He has never advanced past the second-round series during his tenure, going 0-7 over that span.

But Ovechkin’s latest misfortune was good news for the Pittsburgh Penguins and frenemy Evgeni Malkin, who took Game 7 by a score of 2-0 and moved onto the Eastern Conference Finals where they’re currently playing the Ottawa Senators.

Adding some salt to the wounds, Malkin found a little joy in a less than jovial photo of Ovechkin that was posted on Instagram following the Game 7 loss.

Ovechkin is probably not going to see the humor in the photo, the caption or Malkin’s like, but for anyone who finds Ovechkin grating, they certainly will.