Alex Ovechkin, stuck on career goal number 766, will get his second chance to pass Jaromir Jagr against the Vancouver Canucks and former head coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday.
Hours before puck drop, some talk centered on how Ovechkin would be received by Canucks fans as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues. Ovechkin was booed by a slice of fans in Calgary and Edmonton earlier in the week, but the response was more muted than some believed it would be.
Pregame, as the Capitals made their way to the bus, Ovechkin was asked to take a picture with Canucks fan Tyler outside the team’s hotel. Ovechkin obliged, giving off the Blue Steel pose in the pic.
“GUYS I MET OVECHKIN,” Tyler wrote on Twitter.
Ovechkin’s photo with a fan comes as reports have surfaced that NHL teams with Russians players have beefed up security over the last few weeks due to receiving threats via social media.
“It was just fans, no one was hostile towards him,” Tyler said. “He stopped for a few pictures and headed on the bus. No one there was saying anything about him or to him.”
holy fucking shit… #ALLCAPS @Capitals #NHL pic.twitter.com/FoyNssuSxq
— A💘 she/her (@aishwaryasodhi_) March 12, 2022
The pic suggests that the pressure surrounding Ovechkin may be beginning to cool if he feels comfortable interacting with fans again. That wasn’t the case a week ago. After a practice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex, the Capitals captain walked by fans and was ambushed by someone calling themselves CAPITAL PAPARAZZI as he tried to get to his car.
Tyler also ran into TJ Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tom Wilson, and Nicklas Backstrom.
Puck drop against Vancouver will be at 10 PM. The game will air on NBC Sports Washington Plus.
Headline photo: @itstylerg2/Twitter
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