Ovi reacts after being slashed by Brad Richards in the third period of game three. (Photo credit: Bruce Bennett)
A few summers ago, Alex Ovechkin did an interview with Mike Vogel where he slouched. I didn’t think it was a big deal. A few screenshots later, Ovi’s bulging belly was the topic du jour and commenters everywhere opined about the Russian machine’s new chubbiness. The whole Fat Gate thing was ridiculous to me, because if you’ve ever seen Ovechkin, you’ve noticed how strong his core area is. It sticks out past his chest. It’s one of the reasons why Ovechkin’s such a physical player and has such explosiveness in his strides.
But since Ovechkin absorbed a crushing hip check from Anton Stralman to his leg, hip, and core in the first period of game three, he hasn’t been quite the same player.