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Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

I appreciate the gesture, but I’d really rather not have my team’s $10-million superstar throwing his body in front of ballistic vulcanized rubber.RMNB game 6 recap

Washington’s one surviving newspaper beat writer, Katie Carrera, dropped this bomb on Thursday afternoon:

Alex Ovechkin played the final two games of the Capitals’ first-round series against New York with a hairline fracture in his left foot, according to a league source with direct knowledge of the winger’s injury.

Ovechkin reportedly sustained the injury blocking shots during the first period of game six. We wrote about it at the time.

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A few days ago, a funny GIF of Alex Ovechkin was passed around the internet, showing Ovi slumping his shoulders after some defensive breakdowns down low led to a lay-up goal by Stepan. Then Deadspin published an article titled Alexander Ovechkin Would Prefer Not To Play Defense, which Peter and Alan May debunked pretty thoroughly.

While no one is saying he’s Pavel Datsyuk, Ovechkin plays some hard defense when needed. Example: game six, when Ovi blocked a couple of shots in a short burst– laying his body down in the effort.

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Alex Ovechkin has just about every part of his game pulled apart and scrutinized this season, from his leadership to his ice time to his physicality. His attitude has perhaps been criticized more than anything else– arguably with the least amount of basis, but Ovechkin has developed a reputation for not being a “team-first” player.

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Video: Alex Semin Dives Face-First to Block a Shot

Alex Semin

Six minutes and twenty seconds into the Capitals nationally televised game against New York, the Rangers entered Washington’s zone with what looked to be a 2-on-1 break. That is until Alexander Semin busted his butt to get back. Sasha Minor, who normally shies away from blocking shots or any type of physicality for that matter, then dove face-first in front of a Brian Boyle slapshot and turned it away with his left wrist.

Video of the play is below the jump.

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