WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin gave all of Capitals nation a scare on Monday when he took an awkward fall on the ice during an informal skate. He returned for the end of the skate, however, and it appeared he had avoided any significant injury. As scary as that seemed, it was actually the second time in two days Ovechkin had taken a bad fall and managed to avoid a significant injury.

When Ovechkin came off the ice on Monday and was asked about his fall, it was impossible not to notice the large gash on his nose, which he explained he got in a bike accident.

That bike accident was evidently more serious than he initially let on.

“If I don't have a helmet, I'm probably not going to be with you guys right now,” Ovechkin said Tuesday. “I'm going to be in a hospital with somebody somewhere else. But it's a good thing I wear a helmet and it saves.”


On Tuesday, Ovechkin did a tour to promote his new cereal Ovi O’s, which will come out on his birthday on Sept. 17. As part of the tour, Ovechkin visited Arlington Traditional School, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and the Wisconsin Ave. Giant. Without all of his hockey gear on, there were several more gashes visible on both his arm and both hands.

Ovechkin described the incident, saying it happened on the street in his neighborhood. He was biking for part of his training and had gone about 30 seconds when the bike fell apart.

“The bike broke, my pedals broke, stuck and I don't have time to figure out what to do,” Ovechkin said. “Thanks God I have a helmet on me.”

Ovechkin said he was not sure exactly how, but that the helmet cut his nose in the fall.

“Bad situation but it was not our mistake,” he said. “Was bad company and we have to sue them.”

It was unclear if Ovechkin was serious about suing, or if he said it tongue-in-cheek. He also did not disclose the type of bike.

As the Capitals prepare to report to training camp on Thursday, there is hope the team can once again compete for a Stanley Cup. Those hopes hang largely on the shoulders of Ovechkin, its superstar captain, who at 33, has done about as well as anyone at staying one step ahead of Father Time. A bad bike accident, however, would have been a tough blow to start the season.

But, as the saying goes, Eastern European device never malfunctions.

...I think that’s how it goes. Yeah, that definitely sounds right.

Let this be a lesson to everyone out there: Wear a helmet! If it can save one of the greatest hockey players in the world, it can save you too.