This afternoon, Alex Ovechkin continued his annual tradition of skating with 60-plus children from the American Special Hockey Association. Before taking the ice, Ovechkin made some time to hang out with star Washington Ice Dogs player (and one-time sushi date), Ann Schaab. In an adorable moment inside the locker room, Schaab presented the Russian machine with a children’s book entitled Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey written by Jayne J. Jones Beehler. The friendship between Ovechkin and Schaab inspired the character in the book named Ann.
Ann signed the book as Ovechkin cradled it open for her. I guarantee this will now become Ovi’s new most prized collectible.
Proceeds from book sales over the next two weeks will all benefit ASHA so basically you should go buy it right now.
Ovechkin has had a long-standing relationship with the American Special Hockey Association. Ovi began hosting these sessions three years ago and famously donated a Honda to the organization after the 2015 All-Star Game. Ovechkin’s charity work with ASHA has also helped massively grow the hockey league and open it to more kids. Eight new teams have been started recently. There are currently more than 60 ASHA programs in more than 54 cities throughout the United States. For his work, Ovechkin was named a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award last season.
While Jaromir Jagr got all the headlines Thursday after scoring his 750th career goal, Alex Ovechkin quietly made some history of his own. In the third period, Ovechkin deflected a Matt Niskanen point shot past Roberto Luongo. The goal gave the Caps a 3-2 lead. After Marcus Johansson added an insurance goal late, the Caps defeated the Panthers 4-2.
Ovechkin’s goal would stand up as the game winner.
In the first period, Dmitry Orlov had the hit of the year, sending Matt Duchene head over heels. But he wasn’t done yet.
Later in the period, the Russian dynamo fixed all of the Caps’ power play woes, authoring a brilliant slap pass to Alex Ovechkin. The Russian machine one-timed the puck past Semyon Varlamov, scoring his first goal of the season.
Saturday night, Alex Ovechkin made his way to Echostage shortly after the Capitals defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 at Verizon Center. Joined at the club by his wife Nastya Ovechkina and Caps forward Tom Wilson, the Russian machine actually went out on stage and dropped the beat for Dzeko and Torres in front of a capacity crowd. The Canadian DJ’s wore Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson jerseys during their set.
According to Twitter user @JhaviNation who was at the show, Ovechkin “came out for one song and actually put on headphones. Then he stayed on the stage.”
Nastya captured the moment when Ovi dropped the beat on Instagram.
The Washington Capitals hosted their 2016-17 regular season home opener in style Saturday with a special red carpet event. As cars provided by Lexus dropped players off on F Street, diehard Caps fans lined the entrance, hoping for a picture or an autograph with their favorite athlete.
The event started at 3:30 and was hosted by PA Announcer Wes Johnson, who served as the master of ceremonies. Johnson introduced players as they arrived while preselected fans walked the players down the red carpet. Many Caps, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, Nate Schmidt, and Andre Burakovsky, posed for selfies with fans before going inside Verizon Center.
That afternoon, RMNB had two photographers at the event, myself and the talented Katie Snyder (who you can follow on Instagram and Facebook). Snyder is one of the Redskins’ home-game photographers and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Snyder also does a lot of freelance work, including family-based portraits.
Over the past four seasons, the power play has been the lifeblood of the Washington Capitals.
Since 2013, nearly one-fourth of the team’s goals have been scored on the man-advantage. Impressive regular season numbers and Alex Ovechkin’s resurgence, led by his one-timers from the Ovi Spot, have all benefited greatly from Washington’s power play firepower. This year, however, one of league’s perennial top units is off to a slow start. Through two games and eight opportunities, the normally deadly Washington PP has come up with nothing.
“We’re leaving a lot on the ice,” John Carlson, who anchors the point on the first power play unit said after Saturday’s win over the Islanders. “For our skill level, our talent, we should have more goals than we do.”
If you’re a long-time reader of RMNB, you probably know my most-known Caps drawings are the “Unleash the Fury” Russian Machine signs I’ve been bringing to games since 2009. It’s been almost two years since I last updated my Fury sign so I decided over the summer that for the 2016-17 season, Mr. Russian Machine would get an upgrade.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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