Ovie a First-Team All-Star
So this all-star news was tightly embargoed, but I sort of guessed this afternoon, when Ovie asked Caps PR guy Nate Ewell (who I hope gets paid every time his name is in the Bog) if he had any good news, and Ewell refused to talk to Ovie in front of me, and then took him behind closed doors, and then they emerged, smiling.
So yeah, Ovie is a first-team all-star. And before Tuesday night's thrashing of the Flyers, Ovie came out to talk to the gathered media contingent, which attempted to usher Ovie into the little room where Glen Hanlon holds his pst-game press conferences.
"Where are we going?" Ovie asked. "You kidding me?"
Someone gestured toward the podium.
"No," Ovie said. "It's not my space. It's coach's space."
So finally he spoke, off to the side of the podium, and his official "I'm so happy" statement was not super interesting.
"Well it's big honor for me and big honor for Washington Capitals and Washington hockey," he said. "You know, thanks fans, thanks my partners, thanks my teammates, coaches. You know, I'm happy I'm going to all-star first time and be top line. You know, I'm happy."
He said when he found out he basically called only his mom and a few friends, because he has his usual post-morning-skate schedule to uphold (go home, watch TV, go to sleep), so he'll tell more people on Wednesday, although I'm guessing they'll probably figure it out on their own. As for being on the same line with new Caps enemy Daniel Briere of the Sabres, best I can figure, this is what Ovie said:
"We just have couple hits, me and him, that's it, so probably when we go to all-star, forget it, because we on the same team, and after all-star we have games, probably maybe we do something, then we talk about."
(Let me interject here and note that I watched the second period of Tuesday's game with former D.C. United goalkeep Nick Rimando and his wife Jacqui, down in the 100-level. It was Nick's first live NHL game, and he was trying to learn. Like, he asked me where Ovie was from, and later where Semin was from. I said "Russia" to both.
"They've got ballers over there, huh?" Nicky said. True that.)
Anyhow, then the Wash Times's Dave Fay asked whether Ovie had paid attention to the all-star game as a kid.
"Oh yeah," Ovie said. "I remember when Federov, Bure, Fetisov and Larionov was the same team, I have big photo and when I was young I have a bed and I have all hockey pictures, and those pictures was of my favorites, and right now I'm all-star and probably some little kid have his picture the same," which is probably a safe assumption.
Attempting to beat a dead horse, I asked hopefully how many times Ovie had voted for himself.
"I don't know how to do it," he said. "I didn't vote. Probably my brother would."
Someone asked whether Ovie would be hitting anyone at the all-star game.
"No. Why?" he replied.
It was explained that all-stars usually don't hit each other.
"Yeah, so no slap shots, right?" he said.
He was assured that slap shots were ok, just not hitting.
"Yeah, no hitting, good," he said. "I'm not dirty player."
Then he attempted to throw a 'bow at Dave Fay. Seriously.
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