Alex Ovechkin is Back, Setting Good Examples for Prospects at Camp Nemo

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More Washington Capitals players have trickled into the DMV to gear up for the season and a chance to defend Lord Stanley’s Cup. No seriously, the keg stands are stopping and they’re getting back to business. A lot prospects took to the ice early on during Wednesday morning’s unofficial practice and were soon joined in by the vets including team captain Alex Ovechkin.

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Last season, Ovechkin arrived in late-August and seemed faster and more adapted to the flow and pace of today’s game of speed. He was in the best shape of his life and tore it up. He led the Caps in goals during the regular season, achieved some cool hat tricks and crossed off milestone after milestone. Perhaps no milestone was greater than the one that was achieved in Las Vegas on June 7, 2018. A Conn Smythe winner and getting to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Arriving yesterday and us getting our first glimpse today, we saw Ovechkin still in shape and flying everywhere. It was similar to last year and it’s like Ovechkin has picked up where he left off.

It’s good to have that hunger come weeks before training camp. It also sets an example for the rookies, who start their season before anyone else down in Florida this upcoming weekend. It’s the annual rookie tournament which kicks off this Saturday afternoon against the Nashville Predators.

It’s great seeing Ovechkin arrive early for the second straight year, just weeks before training camp, and seeing him this active during the drills and the scrimmage Wednesday morning. The Caps worked on breakaways, two-on-ones, passing and five-on-five scrimmages on Wednesday morning.

Last year Ovechkin started off the season with seven goals in the first two games, including hat tricks both times. He also got a hat trick in November, won the Maurice Rocket Richard trophy, scored his 600th career goal and played in his 1,000th NHL game, all with the Caps. Ovechkin finished the regular season with 49 goals, a 16-goal improvement from the season before!

He continued his regular season tear into the playoffs. Ovechkin got the better end of rival Sidney Crosby and the second round this time around and the Penguins star acknowledged that over in enemy territory.

“In the conference final, you could tell they seemed to get another gear, getting over that hump in the second round took weight off their shoulders,” Crosby said. “They just continued to elevate their game and played really well. They obviously deserved it.”

Ovechkin finished the playoffs leading the team with 15 goals, good for the Conn Smythe trophy.

That was last year but another sign that is telling of Ovechkin’s determination of delivering a repeat came in early July on his two days with the Stanley Cup in Moscow. At the end he tell the Cup, “See you next year.”

Ovechkin had quite the summer. In addition to winning the Stanley Cup, Ovechkin and his wife Nastya welcomed their first child, Sergei Aleksandrovich into the world. Now the Stanley Cup champion and one of the newest fathers is back to work.

And one thing for sure, we look forward to enjoying his emotions and cheerleading on the bench.

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