Alex Ovechkin swings at the puck

Ovi swings with the knob of his stick during the Breakaway Challenge. (Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox)

Alex Ovechkin won his third straight Breakaway Challenge title tonight at the 2010-11 NHL SuperSkills Competition. How did he win it? With an unbelievable series of moves in his second and fourth attempts. In his second breakaway, Ovechkin smoothly juggled the puck in mid-air from center ice. He then knocked the puck up high up to himself, switched the position of his twig, and then swung with butt end of his stick. In his fourth and final attempt, Ovi dribbled the puck down the ice with the knob of his stick, went to his knees, got back up, and then went backhand on Marc-Andre Fleury. After he scored, Ovi sheathed his stick Chi Chi Rodriquez style as players from both benches laughed and banged their sticks against the ice. Ovechkin had a giant smile on his face the entire time.

When asked about his moves, Ovechkin replied, “I’m so excited right now, I can’t remember.” Fair enough.

Ovi and Green’s Team Staal defeated Team Lidstrom tonight 33 to 22. Below the jump, we have video of Ovechkin’s breakaway attempts and the other most noteable Capital moments of the night.


Video: Alex Ovechkin in the Breakaway Challenge


In the fastest skater competition, Mike Green lost to Steven Stamkos by a half a second. It wasn’t really all that close, especially when you examine the video below. Though that 25 second delay must have made it really hard for Green to get a good jump. The Islanders’ Michael Grabner won the event.

Video: Green vs. Stamkos in Fastest Skater Competition


Alex Ovechkin had a heckuva time during the hardest shot competition. On his first attempt, he shot the puck 98.2 MPH and then Ovechfailed. Ovi somehow didn’t see a wire on the side of the ice, tripped, and then swam to center ice laughing hysterically. It was probably my favorite moment of the night, besides the Goalie race between Tim Thomas and Cam Ward where the Boston goaltender face-planted as he went around the net.

Video: Ovi trips over a wire and swims to center ice

But the klutziness wasn’t over yet. On Ovechkin’s second attempt, he broke his stick in half. He still managed to register his shot at 48.3 MPH. Though was that the puck or the blade of his stick?

Video: Ovi breaks his stick on his second attempt

The rules deemed that Ovechkin got to get another go at it, so he skated over to the bench and Pens-emy Kris Letang donated his twig to use. On Ovi’s third attempt, the shot didn’t register. On Ovi’s fourth attempt, the same thing happened. Did the Russian Machine break the radar gun? With his arms extended in frustration, NHL officials scurried over and tried desperately to fix the gun. Ovechkin got a huge applause from the crowd during the delay and then got one more attempt. His fifth shot finally got recorded and was clocked at 97.2 MPH. It was quite an impressive display considering he wasn’t even using his own stick or blade. Plus, he had to shoot so many times in a row. That had to be very tiring. Full video of his comedy of errors can be found here. Anyways, Zdeno Chara went on to win the event by breaking his own record at 105.9 MPH.

What a night!


Photos (Click to enlarge)

Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green in the lockerroom

MG52 and Ovi in the lockerroom. How did Ovi get placed beside P.K. Subban? (Photo credit: AJ Messier)

Alex Ovechkin is introduced to the crowd.

Alex Ovechkin is introduced to crowd. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)

Alex Ovechkin comes out for the All-Star SuperSkills Competition

Epic. (Photo credit: Harry How)

Alex Ovechkin on his knees during the Breakaway Challenge

Ovechkin goes to one knee to on his fourth attempt. (Photo credit: Harry How)

Alex Ovechkin during breakaway challenge

Fluery bellyflops. (Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox)

Alex Ovechkin backhands the puck home.

And Ovechkin scoars. (Photo credit: Harry How)

Alex Ovechkin gets a high-five from Eric Staal

Staal appreciates Ovechkin’s moves. (Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox)

Alex Ovechkin breaks his stick.

Ovi’s twig snaps in half. (Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox)

Ovechkin's shot doesn't register

NOW I BREAK MACHINE? GIMME BREAK!! (Photo credit: Harry How)

Alex Ovechkin trips over a wire

The last time Ovi saw cords like this, Varly was pulling him up to the ceiling. (Photo credit: Harry How)

  • Tattooed Enigma

    It sort of figured that Ovi would win the Breakaway Challenge as it seems like it has been tailored to him and his charisma. But it is also funny that it seems that only Ovi can get away with doing more than 2 shots in the Fastest Shot contest. lol.

  • deann

    Fabulous photos. Nice moves Ovie. Hope he channels that creativity when the break is over!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian

    @Tattooed Enigma

    Completely agreed. Ovi’s so naturally creative and just such a charming guy. It’d be hard for him not to win. I do have to give credit to P.K. Subban however, for putting on Jeff Skinner’s jersey during his tries. He had a few sweet moves. I had a great time watching tonight. Who knew Raleigh could be so fun?

  • BobbyG

    Thanks for posting the terrific videos and photos Ian.

    3 straight Breakaway Challenge wins = OVECHTRICK!!!

  • Hale

    LOL about the stick. As he skated up the first time on the hardest shot I said to the family I bet he breaks a stick.

  • Pingback: From Abdelkader to Zuccarello – 30 Jan 2011 | The Hockey Writers

  • Pingback: From Abdelkader to Zuccarello – 30 Jan 2011 | Blackhawks Playoff Tickets

  • BobbyG

    Russian Machine Never Breaks, but the same can’t be said for his sticks LOL.

  • Tattooed Enigma

    @Ian

    Totally man, you got to give PK props for what he did. And he had some nice moves. I like what Perry did with his first attempt as well.

    Also I hate composite hockey sticks, they are such trash and break way to easily. When I played ice hockey I used a good old fashioned wood stick and I never had any problems like it breaking (unless I slashed the post really hard or if I was trying to break someone’s ankle for trying to hurt me or one my teammates) on faceoffs, shots etc…

  • BobbyG

    The Breakaway Challenge was custom made for Ovie’s style and persona–he oozes charisma and charm. However, something must be done with his sticks. They’re either defective or else he’s over-compensating with them due to his hand/wrist injury. IIRC he broke 4 twigs in one game recently, but I can’t recall when.

  • Mr Beverage

    Hated PK Subban after last year’s playoffs, hard not to like him after this weekend though.

  • Pattyo

    Now that the all star break is over, our heros will make a mad dash for the playoffs, winning 90% of the rest of the season, and steamrolling into the playoffs with more momentum than any other team. WE WILL WIN!!!!!!

  • http://www.irockthered.net/ IRockTheRed

    I love the All-Star break for one reason: it doesn’t matter, the players have a great time, and this time of year, they need the laughs and fun more than anything! I went up to Hershey for the All-Star weekend – ran into Ian (hi, Ian!) at dinner Sunday evening – and had an absolute blast. I loved watching the guys laughing it up on the ice, and I’m sure from the grins I’m seeing in pictures here that the guys at the NHL All-Star game had just as much fun.

  • Pingback: Video: Evgeny Kuznetsov Wins KHL’s Breakaway Challenge