The NHL released a video celebrating Alex Ovechkin’s first NHL game on October 5, 2005, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The video features an interview with Ovechkin speaking about the first shift of his NHL career. Ovi announced his arrival to the league with a crushing hit on defenseman Radoslav Suchy that stopped play.
“My first game against Columbus. We won the game 3-2,” Ovechkin said. “First shift I make a big hit. The kind of make a statement right away so, I’m here and the fans and the team want me.”
Ovechkin checked Suchy so hard into the boards that he broke the plexiglass partition.
“He didn’t expect it,” Ovechkin elaborated in an interview with Men In Blazer’s Roger Bennett. “I was flying over there. I was young. I was crazy. When you have that strength in your body, I think you have to use it. Have to send a message.”
The message being, “Another one of those crazy Russians has [come] to the league.”
Ovechkin scored twice in a span of four minutes and thirty seconds in the second period. Maryland native Jeff Halpern assisted on both goals.
Via Hockey Reference
“Of course, it’s relief,” Ovechkin said of scoring his first NHL goal. “Of course, it’s something that you dream especially my parents there, my brother. It was pretty special.”
Looking back at that time in his career, Ovechkin admitted, “It was a little scary because no English, no friends.” If he could go back in time and give the younger version of himself a message, Ovechkin would say, “don’t sign 13-year contract. Sign 18 years.”
Screenshot courtesy of the @NHL
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