Alex Ovechkin: still visibly shaken after the Capitals’ stunning playoff defeat (photo via Sashastolemyheart on Tumblr).
After arriving in Bratislava, Slovakia just hours earlier, Alex Ovechkin took to the ice for his first practice with Team Russia on Saturday. Despite the Capitals’ crushing and humiliating elimination from the playoffs less no more than three days old, he was all smiles on the ice. Though Ovechkin played through numerous injuries this season, Capitals General Manager George McPhee told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Thursday he had no problems with the Great Eight suiting up for his motherland at the Worlds rather than taking the time to rest up.
“He’s healthy now and he wants to play and I’ve never had a problem with players going to the World Championships if they want to play,” McPhee said. “If they buy in 100% and are there because they want to play, not because they feel obligated because their country is asking them to play. They’ve got to want to play and he wants to play so we’re fine with it.”
Though having just one practice with his new mates, Ovi was in Russia’s lineup against the Czech Republic Sunday. The Ruskies were defeated, 3-2, by their Czech friends while Ovechkin played 14:49 of ice time, registered two shots on goal and was a minus-one. Russia now stands at 3-2 for the tournament and will face Finland Monday at 10:15 AM Eastern Time. They can finish second in their Qualifying Round Group with a win and a Germany loss to the Czech Republic later in the day.
Below, check out some shots of Ovechkin in action during the game and at practice with Team Russia.
Photo credit: Reuters
Photo credit: Reuters
Photo credit: Reuters; following photos via Sashastolemyheart
Photo credit: Matthew Manor; following photos courtesy Alexander Safonov and Championat.ru
Following photos courtesy Elena Rusko and Sportbox.ru
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