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Alex Ovechkin is awake

Remember after Game 1 of the Montreal-Capitals series, when Alex Ovechkin had no shots or points for the first time in his NHL career, seemed passive on the ice, nearly disappeared at times, was criticized by his head coach, and was the subject of 722 "what's wrong with Ovechkin?" stories?

Ovechkin said he "don't feel that power or something" in Game 1, but Bruce Boudreau said not to worry.

"I think we're making mountains out of molehills," the coach said the next day, trying to quiet the storm. "He just had a bad game."

Three games later, Boudreau seems to have gotten it right. As I type, Ovechkin is now in the top six in playoffs points, points-per-game, goals and plus-minus. He's also tied for eighth in playoff hits; no one else in the top 20 has more than one goal. He was running around the ice after goals on Thursday, screaming what I can only assume were Russian profanities into his teammates' faces. And he got the haters hating, like with his pre-game skating routine near a young Canadian kid on the ice.

After Game 4, in which Ovechkin had two more goals and another assist, part of a first line that was buzzing much of the night, he was asked if the speed is back.

"Yeah, you know, I just getting in shape," Ovechkin said. "So I feel pretty good."

And his crucial goal, a missile that was almost past Carey Price before he could react?

"I just make a move and make a shot," Ovechkin said. "It was lucky. Price didn't make the save, so it's good."

"He gets that thing away so fast that I don't think Carey had a chance at all on it," Boudreau said. "I mean, that's his gift."

"When you give him time and he's that close to the net, he knows what to do," Price said. "That's why he scores 50 goals every year."

Ovechkin, like a lot of NHLers, does the smelling salts routine before every game. Sometimes CSN shows parts of it, and sometimes the network doesn't. This time, the camera was on Ovechkin for the whole process, which included five sniffs, and five ghastly grimaces. One look at these and I'd have headed to the showers. Anyhow, the point is, Ovechkin seems to be awake.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 21, 2010; 11:22 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Perhaps they can give out "Scratch 'n Sniff" smelling salt cards at Verizon Center for Game 5? :D

Posted by: blackjack65 | April 21, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

The kid getting a snow shower from Ovie probably will be talking about it in school for the next year. Ovie just likes to mess around. No biggie.

Posted by: lavar609 | April 21, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Sports Illustrated is investigating reports out of Montreal that Ovechkin was inhaling steroids on the bench during game 4.

Posted by: false_cause | April 22, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

This is so much cooler than tossing talcum powder in the air

Posted by: McBride33 | April 22, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

OV is a Heat seeking missile not a stealth drone that's for sure.

Posted by: Rocc00 | April 22, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

@lavar609 - Apparently that's not the way a lot of the Habs fans/Ovi haters see it. Judging by their reactions I would have thought that no. 8 body slammed the kid into the boards and then laughed about it while the boy remained in a heap on the ice.

Posted by: annap0litan | April 22, 2010 3:15 AM | Report abuse

Other things Ovie was seen doing in the past 2 days:

1) Deliberately sneezing in a man's poutine.
2) Cold-cocking a mounty, then stealing his uniform & horse.
3) Booing the Canadian National Anthem.
4) Buying "champagne" from every stripper in Montreal.
5) Stealing a Lambo and using it to run over a group of elderly nuns, who were walking puppies, that were to be gifts for local orphans. He also shouted, "Eff the stupid kids!" as he passed.

Posted by: Kdarienzo | April 22, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: terryreece | April 22, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Ovie is filled with lightning...The Habs are filled with Miracle Whip!

Posted by: tttyler | April 22, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

That will probably be one of the most memorable moments in that kid's life. Cool.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 22, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

OMG, Kdarienzo, I think I just peed my pants. Thank you for the best laugh of the week!

I, for one, am freaking glad Ovi is awake. If it's the smelling salts, great. If it's giving a Canadian kid an ice-shower during intros, great. If it's kissing Nicky during goal celebrations, awesome. Whatever's working, do it up, Alex.

Posted by: justemmaroo | April 22, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps they can give out "Scratch 'n Sniff" smelling salt cards at Verizon Center for Game 5? :D"

Lol, yeah pump the fans up before the game with them.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | April 22, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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