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A calm Ovechkin is a dangerous Ovechkin

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins had their shot last night. Tonight, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals begin their quest to silence the doubters and take off on what they hope to be a two-month journey to the Stanley Cup finals.

Leading them is Alex Ovechkin, perhaps the most skilled player in the NHL. He’s the team captain, a vicious hitter, an incredibly dangerous goal scorer and a quiet and calm leader in the locker room.

Wait, what?

According to Ovechkin and the the rest of the players, the team is taking a different approach to the playoffs this year:

“We’re just more calm,” Ovechkin said. “We just stay quiet. Last two years in the playoffs, we just give all our emotions here in the locker room, like, ‘Oh, yeah, we get in the playoffs, it’s going to be something new.’”

The Capitals enter the postseason with one hell of a chip on their shoulder, fueled by their desire to prove everyone wrong. They’ve played with a “it’s us against them” mentality and that won’t change in the playoffs; they’ve adopted a “26 GUYS. 1 TEAM. 1 GOAL” motto for the team that builds upon their already strong solidarity.

An outspoken and brash Alex Ovechkin is one thing. A calm, intense Ovechkin who is hellbent on destroying whatever stands in his way in the playoffs? Scary beyond belief.

I feel bad for the Canadiens.