Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin likes a lot of things: cars, scoring goals, that one blue suit, the right parenthesis button, celebrating goals, and sweatpants. One thing he definitely does not like is the NHL’s current playoff seeding format. In an interview with CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Tarik El-Bashir, the Russian machine called it “weird.”
Thursday, Team Russia hosted the Czech Republic at St. Petersberg’s Yubileyny Arena. It was the first time the Caps troika of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov had played an organized game since winning a bronze medal in the 2016 World Championship on May 22.
After falling behind early, Russia took a commanding lead before needing a ridiculous split save from Sergei Bobrovski in the final minute to hold onto the 4-3 win. Dmitry Orlov tallied a secondary assist while Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov went scoreless.
Washington Capitals teammates Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov return to the ice at 12:30pm today, as Russia takes on the Czech Republic for their first World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game.
Beforehand, Ovechkin and Kuznetsov continued their Caps pre-game tradition of playing a round of sewer ball. The Russian national team Twitter account has your photos.
While all of us were asleep, Team Russia named Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin as their captain for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey. Ovechkin has previously served as kapitan for the Capitals, Dynamo Moscow, and the Russian national team. Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk were named the alternates.
“It’s an honour for me to be the team’s captain for such a big competition,” Ovechkin said to the media. “The coach simply came up to me and told me that I am going to be captain. We’re looking forward to the game with the Czech Republic as to get some game practice under our belts, and during these friendlies, we will get into playing shape.”
This season, Alex Ovechkin’s first game in Pittsburgh won’t be in a Capitals uniform. Instead, he’ll be playing for Team Russia in a World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game at CONSOL Energy Center.
Although Ovi won’t be donning Caps red, his Team Russia teammate (and Penguins center) Evgeni Malkin expects Ovi to be booed.
Monday, Team Russia held their first official practice for the World Cup of Hockey and I’ve got some great news. Washington Capitals brothers from another mother Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin have been paired together on the first line along with Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov.
Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov is also on Russia’s first defense pairing.
Alex Ovechkin is already the 33rd greatest goal scorer in NHL history. The Russian machine has 525 career goals, and, at 30 years old, was the fifth fastest player to reach the 500-goal plateau.
Ovechkin is scoring, however, in a time period where goals are even harder to come by than usual. On Sunday, Hockey Reference tweeted that Ovechkin’s 601 career adjusted goals puts him in the top 20 all time.
Ahead of the World Cup of Hockey, the Russian national team has been practicing together in St. Petersburg. On Thursday, Alex Ovechkin participated in Knowledge Day ceremonies, welcoming children back to school. Today, in that same vein, the Russian machine joined Evgeny Kuznetsov and Evgeni Malkin out on the ice to play hockey against children during the first intermission of the SKA/Lada Togliatti game.
The Russian superstars were dressed — I’m serious — as mascots.
Thursday was Knowledge Day in Russia and Alex Ovechkin spent his morning welcoming children back to school.
Joined on a stage by Russian stars Artemi Panarin, Vladimir Tarasenko, Sergei Bobrovsky, Pavel Datsyuk, and Ilya Kovalchuk, the Russian machine helped celebrate the first day of classes at School #576 in St. Petersburg, a special boarding school for developing athletes. Today marked the 60th anniversary of its opening.
“Hi, everybody,” Ovechkin said when given a microphone. “You see people on the stage here who are prominent athletes, Olympic and World Champions. We hope that sometime you will be standing on this stage and saying the same words to future first graders.”
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