Captain My Captain!

It’s never a bad week to be Ovi, but this past one was especially special for our captain. He scored his 50th goal on the season, but his most impressive move may have come off the ice. Comcast Sportsnet’s Russ Thaler blogged about a terrific encounter he and his family had with the Gr8 out at the team’s practice facility earlier this week. If you haven’t already read Russ’ account of his 4-year-old son Will’s close encounter with our captain you really should. Thaler rightly reminds us that our sport is populated by the most accessible and gracious athletes in all of sports, and one day after his 4th birthday Will Thaler had a brush with hero greatness he probably won’t forget.

This morning’s New York Times Magazine also offers an expansive feature on our captain penned by Chuck McGrath. In it McGrath asks, “Can a bone-crushing, limelight-loving, ridiculously talented import named Alexander Ovechkin become American hockey’s first true crossover star?”

McGrath writes:

“to be Alexander Ovechkin in Washington these days is not such a bad thing. He is the franchise and has turned the city, where the main winter sport used to be complaining about the Redskins, into an unlikely hockey hotbed. The Capitals have been in Washington since 1974, but except for one uncharacteristic year in the late ’90s when they made it to the Stanley Cup finals, the team’s record was lackluster for decades and attendance was spotty. In 2003-4, after the team began shedding a lot of high-priced but underperforming stars, its home rink was often half-empty. Now, however, the Verizon Center is newly refurbished and jammed every few nights with 18,277 blissful fans, most of them decked out in red, the team color. Television ratings have increased 146 percent since 2008. And as the sportscaster Al Michaels remarked recently, at the football stadium you see almost as many people in Caps jerseys as in Skinswear.’

And Comcast Sportsnet’s Lisa Hillary had some fun with Nick Backstrom and Ovi after both earned a split of a puck at Friday night’s game with Atlanta:

This entry was posted in Alexander Ovechkin, Comcast SportsNet, Lisa Hillary, Media, National Hockey League, Nicklas Backstrom, Print, Washington Capitals. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Captain My Captain!

  1. CapsFan1975 says:

    Great story on Ovi. Trying to cheer up the crying child. I had read about it but thanks for posting.

    (And Ovi’s “bad” moments came from the photographers getting in his face on a bad day. I must confess that I do not behave well when people get in my face when I’m angry either.)

  2. penguin pete says:

    what a great performance.

    by sid, i mean, against the islanders.

  3. Hittman says:

    Sid could cure cancer and he’d still be BORING. I’m glad he won the RR. You know Ovechkin is going into the playoffs now with something to prove, having won zero trophies on his own. Let’s Go Caps.

  4. OvieTracker says:

    Well now that this drama is over with, let’s get the playoffs started already.

    If vanilla Crosby stealing the RR doesn’t bring out the A game in Ovie for the playoffs, nothing else will. The Caps need the Ovie from before the Olympics to lead the way and set the tone. Now that the individual awards are beyond his grasp, his one and only goal should be to go full throttle as in the good old days and take control of games as only he can.

    GO CAPS!

  5. penguin pete says:

    good points on sid being boring. he makes peyton manning look like a wild and crazy guy. but i guess that’s why the ovi rivalry is what it is, as alex certainly brings alot of personality to the table. (and a fairly good wrist shot was well!)

  6. Hittman says:

    @PP: I wrote the above while really angry that the trophies fell the way they did. In truth, I find Sid to be pretty damned exciting. He has almost no personality off the ice, but on it he’s probably the most dangerous man in the game, from his now-validated scoring touch to his out-of-nowhere passes that about a dozen linemates have heretofore been unable to anticipate.

  7. Kevin H says:

    Just pointing out facts, but OV logged 1.51 Points per Game (PPG) and 0.69 Goals per Game (GPG) vs Sid’s 1.35 PPG and 0.63 GPG. Both had impressive years, but you won’t find many who could argue OV’s sheer production is not still superior to Sid’s from a numerical perspective.

    That said, Sid had a nice year. Hope we see him again in the playoffs, it will be fun.

  8. penguin pete says:

    kevin, even i’d have to concede ovi as the game’s greatest goal scorer, no matter what math one may use…

  9. OvieTracker says:

    @Penguin Pete: I want you to know I appreciate your civil tone and hockey smarts presenting your case for Crosby while not defaming Ovie in the process. Too many message boards, like the “official” one for the Caps and I’m sure the Pens board too, get mired in flame wars, attacking the “other” team’s player while supposedly defending your favorite. Blogs like this one aren’t like that, which is why I joined.

    Like HITTMAN above I also was a little angry at the manner in which Ovie lost the individual awards but I’m over it now. Crosby is a great player and I congratulate him on his accomplishment of winning the Maurice Richard trophy.

    Like most true hockey fans, I’m hoping for a Caps/Pens showdown sometime during the playoffs, maybe the Eastern Conference Finals. Who wouldn’t want to see two of the best players and teams face off against each other?

  10. Hittman says:

    @OVIETRACKER: Just so long as it a) involves a Caps’ series victory, and b) doesn’t result in a team of injured Caps, similar to what happened to Detroit in the Anaheim series last season.

  11. OvieTracker says:

    @HITTMAN: What you said. I can recognize the talents of the opposition but make no mistake, I want the Caps to win the Cup. Injuries are one of the wild card unpredictable aspects of any playoff series, so I hope the Caps stay healthy–physically AND on the scoreboard–as the playoffs unfold.

  12. penguin pete says:

    @HITTMAN/OVIETRACKER: I suppose I could lie and say I look forward to seeing the Caps in the postseason as well.

    However, seeing how well the Pens played Washington and New Jersey this year, I hope to see the Pens playing the Habs or Flyers in the Conference Finals! (re-seeding math notwithstanding, of course)

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