Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Cross Checks [Print without images]

Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Alex Ovechkin: I don't have a gut, do I?

By ESPN.com

If you watched the video posted on the Capitals' website in July, you had to be wondering how seriously Alex Ovechkin was taking his offseason workouts.

The Capitals' captain appeared to have a large gut as he vowed to be ready for the season.

"Don't worry; I'm going to be in good shape and I'll be ready for the year because this is a very important year for the Caps and for me, too," Ovechkin told Caps365.

Now, Ovechkin says the gut everyone saw was just a distorted picture.

"When you're sitting, slouching, your gut would still stick out," Ovechkin said in an interview with Sovetsky Sport, which was translated by Yahoo! Sports.

"I don't have a gut, do I?" Ovechkin said has he pointed to his stomach, according to Yahoo! Sports. "Everyone started calling me yelling on the phone. 'What did you do to yourself? Watch the video!' I went online and gasped. 'I am in trouble!'"

"I don't even understand myself how this was filmed this way. My hands were swollen as if I was after a weeklong hangover. My gut, my face ..."

After clearing up the controversy over his body, Ovechkin addressed the health of his rival Sidney Crosby.

Ovechkin said that David Steckel's hit on Crosby in the Winter Classic was unintentional and something you can’t get away from in hockey, but he hopes Crosby makes a full recovery.

"God willing it won't be true [that Crosby will miss this season]," Ovechkin said, according to the report. "Right now, Crosby is one of the best hockey players in the world. If he leaves, it will be a huge loss for people and for the sport in general. I will be very upset."

Ovechkin is taking part in a charity hockey game in Russia to benefit "From Pure Heart" with all of the proceeds going to a home for blind and deaf children. Ovechkin's team will go against Ilya Kovalchuk's team, with Slava Fetisov, Alexei Kasatonov, Maxim Afinogenov and Evgeni Artyukhin expected to participate. This is the second straight year Ovechkin and Kovalchuk have hosted the charity game.

Video from Capitals' website posted in July: