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While the glove kiss remains Alex Ovechkin’s first reaction to scoring, we’ve seen him add new flourishes over the years. There’s jumping into the glass and the hot stick fiasco, and now it’s time to add a new item to the list: the belly pat.

We like to think of it as the gestural companion to “attaboy”, something that a four year-old boy who just learned how to eat with a fork might do when he’s pleased with himself. It’s a thing of joy, of bravado, of that precise brand of smugness that makes Ovi so lovable to his fans and so infuriating to everyone else.

Ovechkin is hot and he knows it. With 9 goals in 9 games since the Washington Post’s “What’s Wrong With Ovi” story, he has climbed from obscurity to fourth in the league’s goal-scoring race. Read into the belly pat however you want. We think it means something like this:

That was nice, but I’m hungry for MOAR.

For his part, Ovechkin is being coy about the new move. Talking to Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post, Ovechkin laughed it off: “I do it before, I think.”

So far, from our count, Ovechkin has done the belly pat after his last five goals.

March 19, 2012, Against the Red Wings

At 31 seconds.

March 22, 2012, Against the Flyers

March 23, 2012, Against the Jets

March 25, 2012, Against the Wild

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