An early 21st century GIF

It seems like everyone and their mom is sharing stats today about how great Alex Ovechkin is. (This was my personal favorite.) Instead, I’d like to focus on one of Ovechkin’s quirks that makes him similar to another generational athlete: Michael Jordan.

You see, like Mike, Ovechkin is inarguably one of the greatest scorers of his sport. And, like Mike, Ovi routinely sticks out his tongue before big moments in his career.

For instance, Ovechkin wagged his tongue last night before becoming the Capitals’ all-time goal-scoring king. I bet you didn’t even know that! As the Russian machine cut to the middle of the ice, evading a facing-the-wrong-direction PK Subban, he stuck his tongue out. Then he fired and scored, ripping a shot past Carey Price that made Price shake his head like, ‘What in the hell even was that?

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As Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin skated towards the Buffalo Sabres net with 4:04 remaining in overtime, the league leader in goals looked primed to score. A goal would have ended the 4-4 tie and completed his second hat trick of the season.

Instead, as Ovechkin raised his left leg and cradled the puck dangerously ever closer towards Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth, the Russian machine wagged his tongue and then unselfishly dished the puck to the even more wide-open Mike Green. Game Over chipped the puck into the net for an easy (looking) overtime game-winning goal.

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