Over the course of the 2017-18 postseason, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who really, really, really wants to win a Stanley Cup, has picked up a couple of new superstitions. The first, a hot lap around the rink ahead of morning skate when the Caps are on the road, has been well documented.
The second, which also occurred on the road, involved the specific location of a stool
Ovechkin moving a stool to make sure it was in the same place as it was in a Game 1 interview was one of my favorite little quirks of the ECF so far. pic.twitter.com/FEZqlpF6FM
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) May 14, 2018
In the video, The Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan removed a stool from where it had been left for Ovechkin’s use, should he want it. A stool had also been provided for Ovechkin’s Game One interview at the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Russian machine opted not to use it.
my bad for trying to get it out of there. https://t.co/knfSMwwNvl
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) May 14, 2018
Ovechkin moved the stool back to the exact place it had been in Game One, thus ensuring the same conditions took place ahead of Game Two. Once again, he didn’t sit on it.
As the Capitals won, convincingly, in both games, the superstition is understandable.
Another pre-game ritual, which involves several players, occurs between Ovechkin, Oshie, John Carlson and Tom Wilson. Ovechkin, Oshie, and Carlson raise their hands into the air, and Wilson jumps up so that he can put his hand on top of theirs.
ME & OVI: who's gonna be the mom of the hand hug while tom's gone
DSP *jumping to tom height*: I GOT THIS
DJOOS *creeping closer*: …me next. pic.twitter.com/k48yFT5Xrg
— b. (@hoosierbea) May 7, 2018
While Wilson was out with a suspension, for a high hit on Zach Aston-Reese, Devante Smith-Pelly stepped up to take over Wilson’s regular duties.
With Tom back in the lineup, I assumed that he would be King of the Hand-Hill once again. HOWEVER. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT WAS NOT THE CASE.
Instead, Tom PICKED UP Tiny Aussie Nathan Walker AND THEN THEY WON GAME 1 OF ROUND 3.
(It is. My favorite thing. In the whole world.) pic.twitter.com/4weFqJxYIj
— b. (@hoosierbea) May 13, 2018
When Wilson returned, he threw a slight curve ball by picking up tiny Australian Nathan Walker so that he could put his hand on top of Ovechkin, Oshie, and Carlson’s.
Ovechkin isn’t alone with his superstitions. Several other players on the Capitals roster have their own rituals that they complete, like clockwork, ahead of a game.
Jakub Vrana and Madison Bowey hold hands when they head out onto the ice for warmups, Oshie butt slashes his teammates, Barry Trotz has been telling everyone to “hydrate” during his postseason press conferences, Trotz only heads onto the bench with 2:10 remaining before the game, and Holtby completes his pregame visualizations at 44:30 before warmups.
We’re certain that these are just a few of the weird, but wonderful, superstitions that the Capitals have, and can’t wait to discover more.
Headline photo: Graham Bensinger
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