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Ovechkin on his terrifying bike mishap: 'Thanks God I have a helmet on'

Ovechkin on his terrifying bike mishap: 'Thanks God I have a helmet on'

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.

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What's goalie prospect Vitek Vanecek's upside? Let Olie Kolzig explain

What's goalie prospect Vitek Vanecek's upside? Let Olie Kolzig explain

The injury to Ilya Samsonov left an opportunity for another goalie to step in as the backup to Braden Holtby and prospect Vitek Vanecek has taken that opportunity and run with it. He beat out Pheonix Copley for the job despite the fact that Copley was the backup just last season in 2018-19. When looking at the Capitals' future in net, that conversation has largely begun and ended with Samsonov. But what exactly is the upside of Vanecek? Who better to ask than Olie Kolzig?

Kolzig is one of the best goalies in franchise history so he knows a thing or two about goaltending. As a professional development coach for Washington, he is also very familiar with Vanecek. Kolzig joined the broadcast on NBC Sports Washington on Monday and, when asked about Vanecek, he offered a glowing review.

"I think if you see the small sample size that he showed last week in the exhibition game against Carolina, he can fill in adequately," Kolzig said. "He's got a great demeanor about him, players love playing for him and his progression over the last three or four years has been nothing but phenomenal."

RELATED: VANECEK WILL PLAY IN ROUND-ROBIN, CAPS' FATE THOUGH WITH HOLTBY

Vanecek now has five years of experience in North America under his belt, but has yet to play in an NHL game. He has nothing left to prove at the AHL level, but his appearance in Wednesday's exhibition against the Carolina Hurricanes was the closest he has come to NHL action.

With the likely departure of Holtby in the offseason, there is going to be an opening on the roster at the goalie position. That makes the biggest question on the mind of Caps fans is just what is Vanecek's ceiling?

"I think he can definitely be a No. 2 in the NHL," Kolzig said. "It wouldn't surprise me if he could battle for a No. 1, but as of now is a No. 2. He's progressed here since [the Capitals] drafted him. His demeanor, his relationship with his teammates, he just needs to be seen. He needs to get some NHL action because he's proved it at the East Coast level and the American League level, but small sample size we saw last week shows he can do it so far at the NHL."

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This is going to be a tricky situation for Washington. If the feeling on Vanecek is that he is a No. 2, then you can see why the team was all-in on Samsonov this season as the backup to Holtby to prepare him for the future. Even if Samsonov is the No. 1 going forward, however, it is not a given that Vanecek will be the No. 2. If the Caps still see themselves as contenders, will general manager Brian MacLellan really want to hand the crease over to two goalies with a combined 26 games of NHL experience? Probably not.

Having a No. 2 goalie in the system is a good player to have, but the timing of it makes it difficult to see what the possible future of Vanecek may be in Washington.

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Seattle Kraken shatter Golden Knights’ NHL record for best-selling expansion team launch

Seattle Kraken shatter Golden Knights’ NHL record for best-selling expansion team launch

The Seattle Kraken are the NHL’s new record-holders for the best-selling expansion team identity launch in the history of the sport, according to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan. The league’s newest team brought in four times the retail revenue that the Vegas Golden Knights earned ahead of their first season in 2017.

Kaplan reports that the Kraken rank among the top five professional sports teams in apparel and merchandise sales on Fanatics—the NHL’s official retail partner—since July 24. The team’s website saw 20 million visits in its first 24 hours and its season-ticket holder waitlist increased from 39,000 to 51,000 people in addition to the 32,000 fans who are already locked in.

The Kraken’s color scheme and logo designs have received high praise from sports fans. The primary logo features a beveled “S” with a tentacle hidden within its curves and a red eye peeking out from behind. With a unique blend of two shades of blue and a hint of red, the logo pops and the jerseys should be unmistakable once fans start wearing them on the streets.

RELATED: HOW A FLAT CAP AND SEATTLE WILL AFFECT THE FUTURE OF THE CAPITALS

Seattle will look to continue exceeding the high expectations set by the Golden Knights, who made an unlikely run to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season before falling to the Capitals in five games.

An expansion draft is set to be held in June 2021, during which the Kraken will select players to steal from other teams in order to build up a roster ahead of the 2021-22 season.

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