Alex Ovechkin is a creature of habits.
So despite it being early in the morning, the Russian machine still chowed down on his pregame meal, spaghetti, before the Caps’ 12:30 PM game against the New York Rangers.
Ovechkin’s wife Nastya Ovechkina was clearly amused so she took video of her husband slurping down on the heavy noodles.
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Nastya says to her husband, rhyming in Russian, “Pasta before the game… And to battle!”
“A rhyme?” Ovechkin responds.
“Mmhmm,” she says. “I tried!”
[Editor’s note: “Before the game” and “battle” rhyme in Russian. Pered igroi and boi.]
Ovi would go on to tally the game-winning assist during the Capitals 6-5 overtime win. He received 19:56 of ice time.
Several weeks ago, Ovechkin was asked during a Reddit AMA what his go-to pregame meal was.
“Spaghetti with alfredo and marinara sauce,” Ovechkin said. “And a chicken parm.”
Brooks Orpik spoke about Ovechkin’s “borderline inspiring” pregame meal on the Players Tribute last season.
“We have a chef here who prepares our pregame meals,” Orpik said. “Ovi always orders the same thing — Mamma Lucia, which is this pasta dish that’s like chicken parm with noodles, bread, cheese, the kind of thing you want to take a five-hour nap after eating. He makes a big display of it too. There’s no shame. It’ll be eleven in the morning, way before anyone is really thinking about eating lunch, and Ovi will walk into the dining area yelling, ‘Mamma Lucia! Mamma Lucia!’ I don’t know. It’s weird, but it seems normal now.
“Then, a few hours later, he’s outskating everyone on the ice, knocking guys on their asses and sniping pucks wherever he wants.”
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan also wrote about Ovechkin’s favorite heavy Italian dish.
“It’s a tradition from day one,” Alex Ovechkin said to Kaplan. “They have the Italian food always when we came to the rink, and it’s very delicious.”
But the meal definitely isn’t for everyone.
“[Mamma Lucia’s] is probably where everyone used to eat,” Kevin Shattenkirk said. “Ovi, being one of those original guys, still gets it delivered in. I dabbled in it one day, but it’s a little too heavy for me.”
“Hockey changes, everyone changes. Now everybody eats the healthy food,” Kuznetsov said. “But with this, [Ovechkin] keeps it the same.”
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