On a normal day, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin can shoot a puck at 100 terrifying miles per hour towards the net. Caps Con was apparently not a normal day.
Participating in the 2013 Caps Convention, Ovechkin, despite his status as a world-famous athlete, stayed down to earth, playing street hockey with kids (more on that later) and displaying his skills on the hardest shot machine.
“When he came up, there was a lady about to shoot,” Caps intern Q’marth Ghaemi excitedly told me in an interview. “She turned around right before she was about to hit the puck, sees Ovechkin, and just totally freaked out.”
Ghaemi, who manned the hardest shot machine, said Ovechkin was one of only two Capitals to stop by. He also confirmed to me that it was easily the coolest thing that happened at his station all day.
“There was just a giant crowd of people all around Ovechkin,” Ghaemi said. “This machine was one of the main attractions of the day. But when Ovi came over, everybody went nuts. Everybody came over, everybody’s phones were up snapping pics. I maybe even tried to snag a pic.”
Since I situated myself in a prime video position behind the goal (and almost died), I never had any idea how fast Ovechkin’s 12 shots were.
“He started shooting and he was only getting into the 70’s,” Ghaemi revealed. “His hardest shot went 77.5 miles per hour. That was the hardest shot we had all day. We’re pretty sure though that the machine’s off by about 20 miles per hour.”
“Oh, really?” I asked.
“Like there’s no way she just shot it 18 miles per hour,” Ghaemi said, pointing to a girl that looked no older than four. The puck rolled towards the net at a snail’s like pace.
“I can assure you, [Ovechkin] was shooting in the 90’s. Maybe even touching 100. He was looking nice.”
With Ovi hitting 75 MPH, I wondered if a hockey blogger could shoot faster.
My first shot, a slap shot, went 48.5 MPH. My second, a wrist shot, went an embarrassingly low 39 MPH.
Yeah, that Ovechkin guy is pretty good.
Photo credit: Chris Gordon