On eve of Game 1, Ovi insists he thinks of nothing

Brian Tinsman
May 27, 2018 - 11:42 pm
Alex Ovechkin

Photo courtesy of the Washington Capitals


Before the last team's practice at the Washington Capitals' facility in Ballston, Alex Ovechkin came out early and sat on the bench for about 10 minutes.

This isn't the first time that he's found his moment of solitude before the storm, but never has he done so in a situation like this. 

In the media day session afterward, NBC Sports beat reporter Tarik El-Bashir asked what he was thinking about, and the answer might surprise you.

"No, I just do it all the time," Ovechkin said, with great sincerity. 

"C'mon, Alex," El-Bashir followed up. "You were thinking about something."

"No," Ovechkin responded, shrugging his shoulders and looking around the room. He then chuckled and shrugged emphatically.

Next question.

It was an interesting media session, with the typical mix of typical psychology/chemistry/mindset questions, and a few gems. Perhaps the best news, delivered by a Chinese reporter, is that Ovechkin is massive in China. 

Given his reaction, this was also news to Ovi.

"Thank you, Alex. I come from CCTV, China Central Television," the disembodied voice said off-camera. "Did you know that in China, you have a lot of, a lot of fans. You are the biggest star in China. When you defeated the Lightning, some fans told me that they just had tears down [their faces>. Facing a new team in the Stanley Cup Finals, do you feel that you are covetous [of the cup> or pressure? Or both?"

Once again, Ovechkin insists that it's easy to think about nothing.

"I think it's everything coming together. It's pressure, it's nervous," Ovechkin said. "But once you step on the ice, the pressure and the nerves just go away. You don't have to think about anything. Only the puck, only the plays, only score goals and blocking shots. It's a physical game with all of the small details. 

"But it's nice that I'm very popular in China. Thank you."


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