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Ovi's teammates messed up his planned celebration for No. 500


Ovi's teammates messed up his planned celebration for No. 500

Everyone at Verizon Center — from his teammates, to his coaches, to his fans, and even the man himself — was ecstatic when Alex Ovechkin netted career goal No. 500 against the Senators on Sunday night. But, as it turns out, all the hoopla got in the way of what Ovechkin really wanted to do after accomplishing the momentous achievement.

"I was surprised when they jumped on the ice," the man of the hour told CSN's Jill Sorenson postgame. "I knew I [was] gonna do some crazy things, but I don't have the time to do that. I just wanted to do my celebration. But as soon as I put my head up, I was like, 'Holy sh*t.'"

Among those soaking up every second of the milestone was Ovechkin's dad. He was seen on the videoboard intensely fist pumping, and was also shown recording what was happening with his phone. No. 8, of course, noticed that.   

"He's crazy like that," Ovechkin said. "I tell him all the time, like, 'Just enjoy the moment.' Why do you have to film it?"

But Ovi's father wasn't the only one of his parents living it up after their son's latest goal: His mother got a surprise visit at her seat from owner Ted Leonsis. Ovechkin, however, was a bit skeptical of how smoothly their conversation could have gone.

"To be honest, I didn't know what they were talking about because my mom can't speak English," he said. "Only, 'Yes, no, good,' that's it. But, yeah, I have a good relationship with Ted, and they've treated me well since day one."

Watch the full interview with Ovechkin in the video player above. It's one for the books.


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We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington


We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

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NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

USA Today Sports

NHL Power Rankings: The home stretch

We are down to the home stretch. Only 10 games remain in the Capitals' regular season. Those 10 games will ultimately decide if the Caps finish in first place in the Metropolitan Division and who they will play in the first round of the playoffs.

Washington currently sits in first place in the division, two points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and four points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers. Of those 10 remaining games, only three come against teams currently in playoff position. The most critical of these comes on April 1 when the Caps travel to Pittsburgh in a game that could ultimately decide the division.

The Caps still hold a narrow lead in the standings, but where do they stand in the rankings? See this week's updated NHL Power Rankings here.