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'It's Good to be Ovie'

After a tough day of travel I needed a good laugh.

Alex Ovechkin, as usual, delivered.

I had arranged to meet the all-star winger at his downtown Atlanta hotel for an interview. But before we could head to lunch, Ovechkin was asked to sign a couple dozen items, from jerseys to pucks to goalie helmets - typical first day of All-Star Weekend type stuff.

When he finished, he was handed iPod as a thank you gift (as if the guy needs another iPod.) He clapped hands, and with a big smile announced to the room: "It's good to be Ovie!" (I'm thinking there's about 124 million other reasons why it's good to be Ovie.) But it still cracked me up, along with everyone else.

Ovechkin had lots of other interesting things to say about the team's turnaround, his remarkable season and his friendship with Nicklas Backstrom. I plan to share that stuff with you in my Sunday story.

As for Backstrom, he's been in town for only a few hours and he's already made some rookie mistakes. Such as misplacing one of his bags. It could be in the back of a cab or maybe at the airport. He doesn't really know. But he knows this much: his dress shoes were packed in that bag.

Don't worry. The Caps' first line center isn't walking around Atlanta without shoes. One of Ovechkin's associates bailed him out and loaned him a really nice (read: expensive) pair. They look great. Unfortunately for Backstrom, they are also about two sizes too small.

"My feet are really hurting," Backstrom said with a grimace at the YoungStars press conference.

That's it for now. I hope to post often throughout the weekend.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  January 25, 2008; 7:24 PM ET
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Next: Backstrom Misses A.M. Practice


hey tarik, ill be arriving tomorrow and ill be attending the pre and post parties on saturday with all the players and such. any chance of having a drink with ya?

Posted by: all star eric | January 25, 2008 7:32 PM | Report abuse

All I can think of now is Ovie looking at the camera like Mel Brooks in History of the World - "It's good to be the king!"

Too funny...

Posted by: m4ilm4n | January 25, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he DOES need a new iPod since he smashed his last one?

Posted by: jak | January 25, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

perhaps. send me an email. just click on one of my bylines.

Posted by: Tarik | January 25, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, is this kid somethign else or what? I am SO glad we got him instead of Sid. No offense to Sid, but Ovy's got a personality you just can't beat.

Doesn't Atlanta have some shoe shops somewhere downtown? Just saying...

Posted by: EricS | January 25, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

From what I can tell, Ovechkin has about a dozen iPods and at least two iPhones.

Posted by: Tarik | January 25, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Can you ask ovechkin if he wants to give me one of his iphones?

Posted by: icarus | January 25, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

From the last thread:

Where do I sign up for the Mr. Potato Head?!? I'm with you guys ... I am starting to worry that kids are going to be tackled for them!! ;-)

FFS Enough:
What's the scoop with Kolzig's wife? Did I miss something?!?

Did anyone listen to BB's post-game interview? Very interesting - full of good stuff!!

BTW, while I don't think that Johnny is necessarily better the Kolzig (he did have a great game last night, but they are both fairly unpredictable), I must so it is nice to see him so darn happy!! He was downright giddy in his post-game interview.

I will miss the Cappies this weekend, but will enjoy the ASG. Here's looking forward to Thursday night!!

Posted by: Boo! | January 25, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

tarik, is the correct email address? thanks

Posted by: all star eric | January 25, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

@all star eric: that's not the right address. Go to an article that Tarik wrote, then click on his name. You will be presented with an on-line form to fill out. That's the email to Tarik.

Posted by: Dezlboy | January 25, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

yea, i tried to cancel that last post before it got on here since i figured it out, but thanks anyways. Tarik, you have mail. Thanks again

Posted by: all star Eric | January 25, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Since it's all-star break, have fun, dudes... (I have secret crush on Sharapova)

TSN.CA: The Serbian is appearing in his second straight Grand Slam final after losing to Federer at the U.S. Open. Djokovic has made crowds laugh by doing impersonations of Sharapova, Federer, Nadal and others, and they have been replayed on YouTube.

Posted by: Papa Schultz | January 25, 2008 8:47 PM | Report abuse

And its good to be a Caps Fan. Can't wait for next weeks Montreal Game.

My sombrero and I got on TV last night for the first time. That was a fun game. The student rush thing really helped fill up the seats and brought a lot of energy to the rink.

Posted by: Sombrero Guy | January 25, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Caps and clothing: I seem to recall hearing about how Dale Hunter would just take his roommates clothes as his own during road trips. Johansson would see Dale walking around in Calle's Jeans!

Posted by: nyalex | January 25, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy

Yeah, I saw you on TV last night! I was bummed I couldn't go to the game, I've been sick for a little while, and missed the Edmonton, the Florida, and the Toronto games. It's a shame, because seeing the crowds on TV, it seems like the fans have been filling up the Phone Booth and cheering loud for the Caps. It just seems like the environment we've been missing out on these past few seasons.

Posted by: Stephen | January 25, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Ovie rocks and Nicklas is a close second! Can't wait for the story on Sunday.

Enjoy Atlanta!

Posted by: Kim | January 25, 2008 11:07 PM | Report abuse

@Sombrero Guy

Me too, they showed you on big HD screen, I just finished my shift and there! Sombrero guy!

Posted by: Papa Schultz | January 25, 2008 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I still think Laing should be in the all-star game. Imagine the looks he'd get from the West's big scorers. "What's this guy doing? We're trying to have 50 goals between the two teams. He's making this... interesting"

Posted by: Stephen | January 25, 2008 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all your hard work Tarik...much appreciated.

Posted by: Zack | January 25, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

im looking forward to seeing nik and ov strut their stuff this weekend, and more importantly, the caps continue their push towards the se div crown. i have a li'l bit on the all star skills competition here:

Posted by: rananda | January 26, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: rananda | January 26, 2008 1:54 AM | Report abuse


I love the great one but that team did not turn around till bryz showed up, and now they too are in a playoff chase
back recently? (your call comment--- from TSN article on Hart candidates)

Without making any front office moves, the Phoenix Coyotes have been one of the pleasant surprises in the first half. Under the tutelage of Wayne Gretzky and the superb goaltending of waiver pick-up Ilya Bryzgalov, the young Coyotes go into the All-Star Break challenging for a playoff spot with a record above .500. (from TSN's looking back on the first half)

Posted by: WHATS A GOALIE? | January 26, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

yeah sombrero guy you were on tv and dude you are one ugly piece jajajajaja

Posted by: jhon | January 26, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I thought there was a moratorium on talking about The Goalie Who Shall Not Be Named.

Posted by: Ilya Who? | January 26, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

It would be interesting to know if Ovie and Malkin are cordial with one another after the near train wreck in P'Burgh.

Posted by: Esa Tikkanen | January 26, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

+1 Tikkanen

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when those two see each other.

Although I guess it would have to be a fly that understood Russian?

Posted by: pmoravek | January 26, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Tarik,,My gut feeling concerning the healthy return of Clarkie is not good. I'm a bit of a pessimist but Groins are a hockey players worst nightmare do'nt you think?
Everything I read makes me believe that his injury is along the lines of Sakic's who we all know had to have surgery. In your heart of hearts, are you thinking Chris is headed in that direction. I think he is and if so the sooner the better. To come back next year healthy.
I know Chris had issues with the ice quality and would be interested to know of any developments in that area.
One more little thing. Have you ever had the opportunity to meet Chris Simpson? She seems very hockey savvy not to mention very HOT.
Thanks Tarik, and you are definitely the best at what you do.


Posted by: score | January 26, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Anybody watching the "meet all stars" on They just showed AO - they even interviewed him and talked about Malkin... he smiled and said "well that was funny, I hit my back... game is game, we're still friends".

Kind of cool to see all these stars on the same rink :D

Posted by: mauree | January 26, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

enjoy the all star weekend. i am sure for media guys, thats a great game. hope to see you next week at practice, to get some insides :->

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