alex-ovechkin-celebrates

Photo credit: Alex Brandon

When Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin traveled halfway around the world last weekend for the Olympic torch ceremony in Greece, I was worried. Would the jetlag affect the Russian machine? Two games into the season, we have an emphatic answer: hell naw.

In Thursday’s home opener, Ovechkin got a DC Hat Trick: two regulation goals and a shootout tally. Even though it’s not a real hat trick, fans at Verizon Center threw hats because that’s what we do. Ovechkin put 11 shots on goal (17 attempts overall) and dished out five hits. Through two games this season, Ovechkin leads the league in points and goals. I guess he’s doing okay.

The night didn’t get off to a promising start. The Caps had fallen behind 3-0, Holtby was pulled, and Ovechkin looked out of sorts. That is, until Kris Russell — quite unwisely– got up in Ovi’s grill. The two pushed and shoved, taking matching minors.

do-not-shove-ovi

After leaving the penalty box, Ovechkin decided: Hey, let’s take the body.

His first victim was Ben Street.

I’m surprised Street didn’t go through the glass.

ovi-big-hit-caps-home-opener

GIF by Ian Oland

Like bugs on my windshield on the drive home. Also, nice fist pumps, guys.

A few minutes later, after Connor Carrick scored on a breakaway, Ovechkin followed up with a tally of his own on the powerplay. Ovi scored from his spot in the left circle (again), taking a perfect tape-to-tape pass from Mike Green and one-timing it past Karri Ramo.

Four minutes later, Ovi scored off the face-off.

And in the shootout, the game-winner.

ovi-shootout-goal

GIF by welshhockeyfan

Ovi’s now 24-for-69 (34.7%)  in the skills competition over his career.

Last year we doubted that the Capitals’ powerplay would continue to dominate. We also had doubts that Ovechkin could continue the blistering pace he started during the second half of last season.

So far, he’s pulling it off.

Let’s allow these graphics to speak for themselves.

ovi-league-leader

caps-pp

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  • http://acapitalwasteland.com/ Jake Shapiro

    Ugh. I’m embarrassed as a DC hockey fan every time I see people at Verizon Center throw hats on the ice for the shootout goal.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    I find it charming. I don’t know why, but I’m totally cool with it. Maybe it’s because I tell myself Caps fans are really knowledgeable, of course they know it’s not a real hat trick. They’re just being ironic or something. See you’re smiling already.

  • Yo8

    Everyone has traditions… What’s our tradition? Exactly! Let them throw hats even if the shootout goal doesn’t count. At least is better than throwing live or dead animals on the ice.

  • Cody Adkins

    I don’t know.. The crab from the Baltimore pre-season game was pretty cool.

  • Matt McNeely

    This powerplay has a chance to be historic. Dude, ya think maybe Grabo is an upgrade over Ribs?? lol

  • Bat Hits

    *Cap Trick

    The first time was embarrassing, last night seemed to be done in jest. Plus it makes their shooter go:

    [smh]

    [miss shootout attempt]

  • Bat Hits

    Ovi destroys guys face on second goal follow through.

  • Rhino40

    For Old Man Ignorant in ways of Twitter, please to be explaining: What does it mean “smh”?

  • Justin Browning

    Shake My Head

  • Rhino40

    I know what the #fancystats people will say:

    Small sample size meow meow Fenwick meow meow not sustainable meow meow Corsi meow meow regress to the mean meow meow meow meow…

    But Day-um!!!

    Averaging 4 goals per game…55.6% effective on PP…League soaring leader boards awash in Caps Red…If this isn’t what you mean by scoar moar goals, I don’t know what is.

    I intend to relish this fully for as long as it lasts.

  • Rhino40

    Yeah, I liked the #crabtoss, too–much easier to conceal than an octopus or rat, and arguably better flight characteristics than either,

    However, while the Government is shut down, I think that when the Caps scoar 4 or moar goals at home, a random (Tea Party) Congressperson should be thrown on the ice…from the 400’s…. At the rate Ovi & Grabo et al. are going, that should result in the shutdown ending by next Thursday, latest. (jk).

    Cartaginem delenda est

  • Rhino40

    Got it…thanks!

  • Justin Browning

    Now that you know, it’s going to kill you. It’s quite annoying. It’s up there with Lol, gtfo, stfu and j/k.

  • Alex

    LOLLL I was wondering who else caught that

  • tim

    We’re looking good so far, but let’s not get TOO overzealous yet haha. How we play in our divisional games will be the true test…

  • JH

    It’s been a couple years since other teams and their fans were scared of anything Caps-related. They are going to be terrified of committing penalties against us, that’s for sure. Knowing that they have that feeling in the pit of their stomach when the Caps go on the PP is so, so satisfying….

  • Red

    Don’t poke Russian bear or he poke you back. Also that’s a sexy stat graphic.

  • Adam Johnson

    Awesome awesome game.