Without #8: Alex Ovechkin’s Teammates Are Thinking About Their Captain Heading Into The Outdoor Game

He been there for every one of the battles before, and the team has gone undefeated. The Washington Capitals are a perfect 3-0 in outdoor games heading into Saturday’s Stadium Series game against the Hurricanes. But going for a fourth win will mean doing it without their captain, Alex Ovechkin.

Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, who’s father passed away during the 2020-2021 season, knows what Ovechkin is dealing with. He knows being there for the Capitals captain is the best they can do right now.

“I have an idea, unfortunately, of what he’s going through. It’s not easy, especially when it happens across the world. So we are thinking about him everyday. Keeping in touch, whether it’s through the group chat or guys text him on their own. We miss him. Our hearts are broken for him. But we are absolutely here 100% for any support he needs or his family needs.”

“I love you guys. Miss you,” Ovechkin’s text said, according to Capitals forward Tom Wilson.

Capitals forward and fellow countryman Evgeny Kuznetsov echoed Oshie’s sentiments. For Kuznetsov, he is looking forward to the day the Capitals captain returns to the team.

“It’s tough. To even imagine that, what he’s dealing with. We support him as much as we can. I believe that when he comes back we are going to do everything in our hands to make him feel comfortable, try to, at least for a couple of hours, forget about life and enjoy the hockey game.”

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette is also thinking about the Capitals captain. But knows the best thing they can do right now, besides being there for Alex, is to win Saturday night’s game.

“Listen, those are big skates, big shoes to fill. Every guy is going to have to chip in and do a little bit more. There’s no question that we would love to have Alex here. He’s an important piece to our team and an important piece to the success. But we still gotta push on and we gotta win games for our organization, to move up the standings, and we gotta win for Alex, who’s not here. I think the guys know that,” said Laviolette.

“We certainly miss him, we support him,” added Laviolette. “He’s getting this time in his life right now to be with his family. When he’s not here, it’s a substantial piece that comes out of the lineup. He’s such a big personality. Loves the game. Loves practice. Loves to come to the rink. Loves his teammates. When you miss a piece like that, your captain, it’s hard not to feel it. But in the same sense, we have a responsibility to step up and make sure we play the game the right way and win a game and get two points.”

The Capitals will look to extend their winning streak to 4-0 tonight against the Hurricanes. Puck drop is set for just after 8:00PM ET.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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6 Responses to Without #8: Alex Ovechkin’s Teammates Are Thinking About Their Captain Heading Into The Outdoor Game

  1. hockeydruid says:

    Thats real nice that they miss their captain and are looking forward to his return. However they need to be in the present and have their head in the game TODAY or they will find their posteriors sitting in 7th place rather than 6th! If the draft were today they would be sitting in 17th position when the really need to be closer to 10 or 11.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Win it for Ovi!

  3. Steve says:

    “The Capitals will look to extend their winning streak to 4-0 tonight against the Hurricanes.” Not including our loss to them on 2/14? 🙂

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