There are three certainties in life. Death, taxes, and Tatyana Ovechkina sitting alone at Caps games.
Except Saturday night at Verizon Center, Tatyana sat with her family, changing up a decade-long tradition that started when Alex Ovechkin was a teenaged Capitals player.
Tatyana’s seat tradition first gained national attention when Alex Ovechkin scored his 500th career goal in January 2016. The intense former gold medalist prefers to be left alone at games while her husband Mikhail is more of a social butterfly.
“That’s the way we like it,” Tatyana said to Graham Bensinger. “I always like sitting by myself so that no one bothers me.”
“I like being with the crowd,” Mikhail said.
“And Papa loves being with the crowds, surrounded by fans and all his friends saying ‘Mikhail, hi! Hi, Mikhail!’” Tatyana said dismissively. “I like sitting alone so that no one bothers me. I stay focused on the game and watch it carefully. And it’s always like that — in basketball and my games as well. I’m always alone. I do not like it very much if someone I know sits next to me. That’s how it is.”
Last night around 9 PM, I first learned of Tatyana’s seat switch from RMNB reader Stephanie Williams.
“She always sits a section over by herself,” Williams, a Capitals season-ticket holder, said to me. “But Tatyana sat with her husband Mikhail, Ovi’s wife Nastya, Dmitry Orlov’s wife Varvara, and Ovi’s brother Mikhail last night. Of course, it didn’t look like she interacted with them much, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen her there.”
Tatyana usually sits in section 102 at the very end of the aisle, but last night she came over to section 103.
I reached out to a friend of Ovechkin’s who was sitting with the family last night. He confirmed the news.
“Yep, all three of them were together,” Sigi Smailys said, referring to Tatyana, Mikhail, and Ovi’s older brother. “It was the first time ever.”
Tatyana is pictured just out of frame to the left.
A post shared by Sigi Smailys (@zigggiz) on
Tatyana watched with her family as her son scored a huge insurance goal late in the third period. Per Hockey Night In Canada’s Nick Kypreos, it was only her son’s second goal in his last 11 elimination games.
Ovechkin’s wife Nastya celebrates the goal. (Video: @nastyashubskaya)
The Caps would go on to win 4-2.
The Capitals have lost eight of nine playoff series all time against the Penguins. But if there’s anything that can change that bad mojo, perhaps it’s Tatyana’s seat switch. If the Caps can win Game Six on Monday, they will play in a decisive Game Seven at home on Wednesday.
We hope you’re sitting in section 103, Tatyana.
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