Surprised Fans Excited to See Ovi

Posted March 7, 2015

Alex Ovechkin (Caps Outsider)

Caps captain and leading goal scorer, Alex Ovechkin, surprised and delighted fans Saturday night when he emerged from the tunnel onto the ice to take on the Buffalo Sabres.  His fiery spirit and expertise were sorely missed last Thursday night when he was omitted from the lineup due to a lower body injury.  It was the only game he had missed so far this season.  The Caps fell to the Minnesota Wild 2-1 that night.  The Caps’ only tally that evening came by way of one of the their latest acquisitions, Curtis Glencross.  It was rumored that Ovi would miss the Sabres’ game, too, but when fans saw The Great 8 take the ice Saturday,  there were resounding cheers and renewed hope that the Caps could capture some of the precious points they need heading into the playoffs.

Whether he scores or not, does Ovi make a difference just being on the ice?  I asked some avid fans just what they thought about Ovi’s effect on the team and the fans.

“Ovechkin is a big motivation factor for the fans and the team,” said Bob Connolly of Mechanicsville, MD.  “He sparks the team more this year than in the past.  He’s more of a team player.  I think the coach has been a big part of that change.”

Steve Smingler of Ashburn, VA had a lot to say about the captain’s overall influence.

“He was only out for one game and we lost,” said Smingler.  “The rotations were all mixed up.  If he had been out for awhile, it would have given new combinations time to gel.  A lot of the Caps’ plays are designed to feed to him and he scores.”

“For the fans, it’s disappointing if he doesn’t play.  He’s the Caps’ key player.  Fans want to see him play and play well,” Smingler continued.  ” It would be like going to a Nats game expecting to see Stephen Strasburg pitch, and then he doesn’t.”

After the game, Ovechkin commented on his return to the lineup. “I skated with a lot of energy tonight since I hadn’t skated in four days.  The first few shifts were hard, but then I felt good.”

Coach Barry Trotz also commented on Ovi’s return.  “After Ovi skated in the morning, there was no doubt he was ready.  He’s fine.  Our docs and trainers did a good job.  Happy to get the thumbs up to have him back.”

Saturday night the fans got their wish.  Ovi played.  Ovi scored.  And, with a little help from his pals Glencross, Jay Beagle, Brooks Laich, Joel Ward and Marcus Johansson, the Caps won 6-1.   Ah yes…..just the way it should be.

The Caps’ next game will be Wednesday, March 11 when they take on New York Rangers at 8:00 pm at the Verizon Center.