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Ovechkin: 'It helped me a lot'

Some post-practice news, notes and quotes to get you through the rest of the day:

*Alex Ovechkin is back as I mentioned in a previous post. And so is his infectious enthusiasm. One day after the Caps were put through a brutal practice, and two days after they suffered their worst loss since March, Ovechkin was at KCI celebrating goals and joking with teammates loudly in the dressing room.

"I feel good and I feel bad," he said. "I feel good I saw my grandpa, but I feel bad I didn't play and couldn't help my teammates win the game."

He went out of his way to point out that his grandfather is still alive, which is contrary to a report out of Russia that said he had passed.

"Can you imagine, I go home and my fiends call me and say, 'I'm so sorry your grandfather died," Ovechkin said.

Where did that come from?

"I don't know. Some idiot," he said.

Ovechkin said he skated a few times with Moscow Dynamo's bantam team while he was in Russia last week. He also avoided becoming jetlagged by living "on American time," saying he slept while everyone else was awake and was awake when everyone else was sleep.

Ovechkin said he found out that his grandfather was not doing well from his father, who called him before the Dallas game.

"My mind was already back in Moscow," he said. "I called George [McPhee] and said, 'George I need to go back to Russia and see my grandpa because I don't know when he is going to die. Thanks to the Capitals. They said go there and be with your family. It helped me a lot."

I asked Ovechkin what was wrong with his grandfather and he said, "He's 83, just old."

He also said his grandfather had a serious operation eight years ago and was told by doctors that he had only two years to live. So the Ovechkin family feels blessed to have him around.

"He didn't open his eyes, but it helped me [to be there]," Ovechkin said. "Thank God he's still alive. Of course, when you know [someone in] your family feels no good, you don't feel [good] about the game. But when you go to the game, you concentrate about the game."

Ovechkin wasn't really pressed to open up, but he did anyway. He seemed to feel unburdened a bit by talking about his grandfather.

"When my mom was coaching the women's basketball team," he said. "I live all the time with him and he live me when I was growing up, so he's very close to me."

Although Ovechkin was gone for a week, he still was aware of Alexander Semin's controversial comments about Sidney Crosby.

"I didn't see it and I didn't hear it," he said laughing. "Maybe he didn't say this. Maybe the translation was no good."

Then he cracked a really wide smile, and said, "What can I say?"

*Coach Bruce Boudreau cautioned reporters not to look to deeply into today's line combos and pairings because if John Erskine (calf) is able to play tomorrow, Sergei Fedorov will return to center and everything will be thrown into chaos.

*Shaone Morrisonn said he was struck by a puck at the end of the first period of the Buffalo game and was coughing up blood at the intermission, which is why he was taken to the hospital. Morrisonn also said he felt fine in practice today and expects to play in Ottawa.

*Ted Leonsis, clearly annoyed with his team's performance in Buffalo, watched practice again today. He also walked around the dressing room, briefly stopping to talk to captain Chris Clark.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 3, 2008; 12:07 PM ET
 
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Next: Semin Named First Star In October

Comments

Good stuff...thanks Tarik

Posted by: RITdude | November 3, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff...thanks Tarik

Posted by: RITdude | November 3, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

1) All fine with Ted showing up, but hopefully his involvement will be limited.
2) Just an opinion, but the Fedorov back and forth from forward to defense needs to end. It seems to be too chaotic to be shifting players out of position. In an emergency, fine, but to make it policy is a mistake.

Posted by: fauxrumors | November 3, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

1) All fine with Ted showing up, but hopefully his involvement will be limited.
2) Just an opinion, but the Fedorov back and forth from forward to defense needs to end. It seems to be too chaotic to be shifting players out of position. In an emergency, fine, but to make it policy is a mistake.

Posted by: fauxrumors | November 3, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to hear that Ovie seems like himself. Hopefully, he'll have a break-out game, finally!

How did practice look, otherwise? Was it a hard practice? Anyone look clearly affected from yesterday's slugfest of a practice? Aside from Erskine, obviously.

Posted by: DrinkingPartner | November 3, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

This was sent to me - don't know the publication!

From an interview with Alexander Semin:

Many people believe the Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin rivalry is now the Crosby/Malkin/Ovechkin/Semin rivalry. Do you believe you're on that level of hockey stardom at this point in your career?

What's so special about [Crosby]? I don't see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there's nothing else. Even if you compare him to Patrick Kane from Chicago ... [Kane] is a much more interesting player. The way he moves, his deking abilities, his thinking on the ice and his anticipation of the play is so superb.

I think that if you take any player, even if he is "dead wood," and start promoting him, you'll get a star. Especially if he scores 100 points. No one is going to care about anyone else. No one is going to care whether he possesses great skill. Let's say you put someone in front of the net and let him deflect pucks in, and he scored 50 goals; everyone will say "Wow!" and then hand him a $10 million per year contract. That's what they like here.

And in Russia people like beautiful hockey, and not dump and chase. I just don't get it, why when a player is skating up the ice and no one is attacking him, he dumps the puck into the offensive zone and then chases it? Why would you do this if there is no one forechecking you? I understand that if there is someone coming at you and you don't know whether you can get past that player, then you can dump the puck, pass it or shoot. But if not, then hold on to the puck, skate forward, create a chance.

Why would you want to dump the puck and then chase after it and crash into the boards? I don't know. But that's just my opinion.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 3, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

yay for ovie, glad he's officially back and well. that's nice that he didn't want to mess up the sleep time. just like ovie, always thinking!

Posted by: capsfan387 | November 3, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Ted-please don't become jerry jones!! :) jk!

Posted by: mshwedick | November 3, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Found this interesting in The Hockey News polls. Not that's it's worth anything, but maybe between Semin's blasting and this poll, Cindy's "approval ratings" are tanking.

The question:

Which of these NHLers is the most respected?

Sakik 52%
Lidstrom 23
Brodeur 14
Iginla 6
Crosby 3
Drury 2

Posted by: Greg S. | November 3, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Interesting bit - Semin's comments about dump and chase hockey... it's interesting he seems to be completely against it and would say so. I love the guy, but neutral zone turnovers trying to go through a guy aren't good either... have to pick your spots.

Posted by: rh71 | November 3, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Found this interesting in The Hockey News polls. Not that's it's worth anything, but maybe between Semin's blasting and this poll, Cindy's "approval ratings" are tanking.

The question:

Which of these NHLers is the most respected?

Sakik 52%
Lidstrom 23
Brodeur 14
Iginla 6
Crosby 3
Drury 2

Posted by: Greg S. | November 3, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Katie:
Thanks (again) for the reading list. I like the column that changes political statements to reference hockey (http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/james_duthie/?id=254641). I particularly like this statement:

"What Washington needs is adult supervision." - Obama, after watching Alexander Ovechkin and his teammates pretend to be a rock band for a team video.

HA!! :-D


Posted by: Boo- | November 3, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

lylewimbledon, that's from the interview Dmitry Chesnokov of Sovetsky Sport did with Semin, which ran at Puck Daddy (despite the best efforts of the Luddite Canadian hockey media to erase any and all references to the fact that it ran in, HORRORS, a blog)
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Puck-Daddy-chats-with-Alex-Semin-about-Ovie-Cro?urn=nhl,118770

Posted by: RedBirdie | November 3, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

"This was sent to me - don't know the publication!"

The publication is Puck Daddy, the hockey blog on Yahoo! Sports. Puck Daddy is a professional journalist, by the way.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Puck-Daddy-chats-with-Alex-Semin-about-Ovie-Cro?urn=nhl,118770

Posted by: Gustafsson | November 3, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Guys, calm down about Ted visiting his toy. I think by now Ted has the sense to let GMGM and BB run the team. Maybe he just stopped by to "see what's going on" and give support. (At least, this is what I hope...)

Ok, can I say again that Mo is an underrated tough guy. Played end of last season with his jaw wired shot and was coughing up blood this year and barely misses any time. Yow.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | November 3, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

So glad to hear Ovie's grandfather is still with him, and that Ovie is back with all his enthusiasm. I'm glad he went to see his grandfather.

Posted by: irockthered | November 3, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Tarik: great update, as always. Thanks.

Posted by: ThisGuy | November 3, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

So glad to hear Ovie's grandfather is still with him, and that Ovie is back with all his enthusiasm. I'm glad he went to see his grandfather.

Posted by: irockthered | November 3, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Great to hear from OV and I hope he knows how much his fans are with him in this ordeal with his grandpa. And although the rumors of his grandfather's demise were exaggerated (if not outright fabricated), I don't think is was "fiends" who were calling OV to check on him. :)

Posted by: tuvanhillbilly | November 3, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

cool thanks - wasn't sure it was true because it was e-mailed to me from my brother- can't trust him!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 3, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

fine with Ted visiting players seing he didnt talk to everyone, just the captain. All you folks talking about the feds going to D. The reason he is there is because our blue line is horrible. The best person we have(green) gets beet consistently. FEDS needs to be on D cause we have depth @ the forwards position.


I'll say it again(if the sabers game wasnt proof enough) we need to make a trade to beef up our blueline. We have so much depth @ the forwards. I see our D take penalties and get burned constantly.

Posted by: smartfan | November 3, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

given Clarkie's struggles, my sense is that one or more of the veterans needs to step it up in the locker room to get this team motivated and off its keester.

Posted by: doughless | November 3, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Give Feds the captaincy - it's a russian team anyways!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 3, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many games Fedorov has started at D this year? I'm hoping he gets D status in my Fantasy pool :).

Posted by: ken21 | November 3, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many games Fedorov has started at D this year? I'm hoping he gets D status in my Fantasy pool :).

Posted by: ken21 | November 3, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many games Fedorov has started at D this year? I'm hoping he gets D status in my Fantasy pool :).

Posted by: ken21 | November 3, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many games Fedorov has started at D this year? I'm hoping he gets D status in my Fantasy pool :).

Posted by: ken21 | November 3, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the multi posts... didn't think they were going through.

Posted by: ken21 | November 3, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Listening to XM hockey radio driving to lunch today:

"...What could be better than watching Sidney Crosby in a shootout? Except maybe watching Sidney Crosby in a shootout twice"

They wanted NHL teams to be able to re-use their 'name' players if a shootout goes past 5 skaters or something

What a great new way to eat light.

Posted by: austinsteve | November 3, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

TSN has us listed as one of the worst teams in their power rankings. I would have to agree with them after seeing the teams at the top. We can't play with anyone at the moment.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 3, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

TSN has us listed as one of the worst teams in their power rankings. I would have to agree with them after seeing the teams at the top. We can't play with anyone at the moment.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 3, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

This just in from the NHL:
Alexander Semin named #1 Star for the Month of October. Pretty cool... now let's rip off a winning streak.

Posted by: Roose | November 3, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

This just in from the NHL:
Alexander Semin named #1 Star for the Month of October. Pretty cool... now let's rip off a winning streak.

Posted by: Roose | November 3, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

TSN has us listed as one of the worst teams in their power rankings. I would have to agree with them after seeing the teams at the top. We can't play with anyone at the moment.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | November 3, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Oops...

Posted by: Roose | November 3, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

I don't know if you/the Post are aware response is really horrible on our comment submissions. I was tempted to resubmit too and make more duplicates.

They need to kick off some more services or something. Or maybe Boo needs to toss her cookies again :)

...and my blackberry says I need to register or subscribe to the Post when I submit even though I successfully sign in using it. (It never works). I prefer my rare workday post to be from my blackberry!

Thanks!

Posted by: austinsteve | November 3, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Hey Tarik,

I don't know if you/the Post are aware response is really horrible on our comment submissions. I was tempted to resubmit too and make more duplicates.

They need to kick off some more services or something. Or maybe Boo needs to toss her cookies again :)

...and my blackberry says I need to register or subscribe to the Post when I submit even though I successfully sign in using it. (It never works). I prefer my rare workday post to be from my blackberry!

Thanks!

Posted by: austinsteve | November 3, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

It *IS* horribly slow! Something needs to be done to fix that. Other sites aren't this evil-slow.

And to all you folks being nothing but negative: bah, I say. Bah! You're making this blog unfun. Go away.

Posted by: irockthered | November 3, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

@ fauxrumors:

Agree entirely with the comment on the back and forth with Feds. Boudreau is dealing with the fall-out from the cap problems and their negative hit on shoring up our blueline. But let's pick a spot and leave him there unless we're desperate.

As for Leonsis being at practice, I doubt he'll get involved too much. I think it's just fine, though, for him to remind everyone he's watching.

Posted by: FedsFan | November 3, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

BTW, does anyone know what roster obligations the Caps have with Pothier? Not to be cold, but it's not looking likely he'll ever return and the team needs to room. Just wondering.

Posted by: FedsFan | November 3, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't care who watches practice as long as they stop this god awful play in their own end. Mike Green needs to play defense more instead of trying to be Bobby Orr all the time. Did you see that lame attempt at defense that lead directly to the first goal in Buffalo? You call what we witnessed in Buffalo defense?

Posted by: ergoroc | November 3, 2008 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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