Amid the chaos of Nicklas Backstrom‘s gold-medal game suspension on Sunday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin quietly joined his second social media network, Instagram. The Russian machine chose the subtle username, a0gr8 because modesty. Then he went wild, posting pics of everything Ovi. Let’s catch up.
After 42 years out in California, The Tonight Show returned to New York City on Monday. New host Jimmy Fallon didn’t wait long to make a joke about Alex Ovechkin. In his fourth Tonight Show on Thursday, Fallon introduced a segment called Olympic Thoughts and had some fun with a recently taken Ovi photo.
We’ve sometimes lobbed criticism at Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates, but one thing we can agree on is that his handling of Alex Ovechkin since being hired has been excellent.
Oates has reinvigorated the Caps captain, helping him to win the MVP the last season. Under Oates’ tutelage, Ovechkin has grown as a player and a scorer.
On Wednesday when asked about the mountains of criticism for Ovechkin after Russia failed to medal in their own Olympics, Oates — in my opinion — had one of his finest moments as a Capital.
It started off so well. Ilya Kovalchuk scored early in the first period of Russia’s quarterfinals game against Finland, but Finland fought back (as good teams do), scoring twice later in the period, including a goal from septuagenarian Teemu Selanne. Finland added another goal in the second period. Russia couldn’t come back. They lost 3-1.
This is no ordinary loss. After getting blown out by Canada in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, this was supposed to be different. Russia was supposed to medal. They were supposed to win gold in front of their home fans.
Instead: sadness, disappointment, blame. Again.
We’ll be updating this post with images and quotes from the players as they come in.
Photo: Winslow Townson
Team Russia defeated Norway 4-0 on Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals tomorrow against Finland. Despite leading his countrymen in shots again today (4), Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin did not score. He hasn’t tallied since Russia’s first game and first goal of the Olympics against Slovenia – a drought of three games – though he leads all of Team Russia in shots fired (21).
Ovechkin spoke after the game to RBC.ru and was asked about the lack of goal scoring. He also had intense words about playing Finland.
Photo: Jeff Vinnick/HHOF-IIHF Images
Yesterday, after the United States beat Team Russia in the shootout 3-2, there was a handshake line — which let’s all agree is one of the best traditions in hockey. During the Sochi Olympics, opposing players have high-fived each other at the conclusion of every preliminary round game, an act normally reserved for elimination.
Because of this, we get to see what I’m going to ahead now and declare the second best Caps related photo of the Olympics (Nicky and Mojo biking together will always be first). Here, wonderfully captured by the IIHF’s Jeff Vinnick, John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin shake hands after the game. They look amused.
Photo: Jayne Kamin
Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia played John Carlson and Team USA Saturday morning. The game was an instant classic, the best of the Olympic tournament thus far. Russia lost 3-2 in the shootout after TJ Oshie scored the deciding tally on Sergei Bobrovsky five-hole.
Ovechkin spoke to R-Sport after the game.
“Today’s game was even worthy of a final,” he said to Alexander Rogulev. “It was a good game, unfortunately we lost in the shootout.”
Since we’re nearing the end of Valentine’s Day, let’s end on something cute, shall we? Thursday, during Russia’s 5-2 win over Slovenia, Alex Ovechkin‘s fiancee, Maria Kirilenko, was watching the game in the stands like normal.
What she was wearing was a bit remarkable though. The day before, the Russian language Sport-Express spoke to Maria and asked her if she’d be wearing an Ovi jersey. She did at Dynamo games. You’d think the answer to this question would be simple, but it’s not when you’re dealing with famous athletes who have big-money equipment deals with even more famous athletic companies.
Photo: Winslow Townson
Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist in his first game of the Sochi Olympics. Russia won handily, defeating Slovenia 5-2.
Despite the win and his own personal production, Ovechkin wasn’t satisfied with the game. Russia struggled in the second period and watched helplessly as Slovenia’s Žiga Jeglič scored twice. Those goals made the game a tight, one-goal affair heading into the third period.