Team Finland and Team Russia will face off in the World Cup of Hockey on Thursday at 3:00 p.m in Toronto. Finland has already been eliminated after Team North America beat Team Sweden 4-3 in overtime with that absolutely gorgeous goal from Nathan MacKinnon, but for Patrik Laine this game will be another chance to face his idol and our treasure, Caps forward Alex Ovechkin.
The last time Ovechkin and Laine met was in the 2016 IIHF Hockey World Championships. How did their first meeting go? In true hockey fashion, Ovechkin gave Laine a big “nice to meet you” hit, forcing Laine to never wash his jersey again. Which is gross, but I get it.
NHL.com’s Shawn P. Roarke was able to talk to Laine about taking on Ovechkin once again:
“I think it will be just a normal game. I don’t want to focus too much about who is against us. I know there are a lot of my childhood idols playing against me and my team. It’s a new experience to play against those players and try to win and play a good game.”
“We can’t focus on one player. We have to focus on the team and play our game.”
Laine’s admiration for Ovechkin came to light at the 2016 NHL Draft when he told NHL.com:
“It’s just nice to watch him play and score because I love to score.”
“I watch how he shoots from different angles and from how far. He likes to play physical, too, and I’ve tried to do the same thing with the way I play.”
So, what does Ovechkin think of all this? After practice on Wednesday, he told Roarke:
“I know he’s a great young player, lots of talent, but, to be honest, I haven’t had the time to look at his game.”
“I know he’s going to be a very good player.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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