Checking in with Theodore, Ovechkin

April, 14, 2010

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals netminder Jose Theodore left practice a little early Wednesday after taking a shot on the inside of the knee, but that shouldn't stop him from starting Game 1 of the Capitals' first-round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

"He just got a stinger shot," Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday.

The coach said it's like being hit in the funny bone.

"It just goes numb for a bit, but we decided to keep him off [the ice] because he'd already had his shots."

Did Boudreau have concerns that Theodore might miss a start? "None," he said.

So who was the goat who took the shot? "I don't know, but he's not playing," Boudreau quipped.

Ovechkin is ready

One guy who won't have any trouble getting amped up for this series, especially when it moves to Montreal for Games 3 and 4 on Monday and Wednesday, is Washington captain Alex Ovechkin.

He has lit up the Habs with 11 goals and 13 assists in 20 career games. He's also a big fan of the fans in Montreal and the passion they have for the game.

"Media and fans, it's something like … I don't know how to explain," Ovechkin said Wednesday. "But you just play hockey, and that's the kind of atmosphere here in D.C., and I can't imagine what's going to happen in Montreal when we're going to play over there. It's going to be nice.

"It's a great history and lots of attention and everybody just watching those kinds of games, so you want to show up. You don't want to just skate and play; you want to show your best stuff. It's always nice to play against a great team, especially in a great building with great atmosphere. When you go off the ice, people are just crazy about hockey, and that's what I appreciate. It's going to be fun."

Growing up in Russia, Ovechkin didn't have much of a chance to follow the NHL, although he did like the San Jose Sharks.

"My favorite team was San Jose growing up. I liked the logo, not the players," he said. "We didn't have lots of chances to watch the games. We didn't have Internet over there or cable. We just knew through the newspaper the teams and some of the players."

As for the idea that perhaps the Caps have a weakness defensively or in goal, Ovechkin said he isn't bothered by what people say or think.

"Different people have different minds," he said. "One guy says we don't have good goalies and a different guy says we don't have good trainers or coaches. If you want to listen to everybody, we're going to be crazy and we're going to kill ourselves. I think we don't have to listen to nobody, we just have to concentrate. We know we have good goalies, good defense and good forwards. We just have to be a group of guys that is a family."

Scott Burnside

ESPN Senior Writer




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