Mike McKenna on Alex Ovechkin’s hot stick celebration: ‘If I’d been comfortable in the NHL, I would have slashed his stick to the next zip code’
Alex Ovechkin hit the 50-goal mark for the third time of his career on March 19, 2009. In a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ovechkin skated the puck into the offensive zone against three Lightning defenders.
“I just remember him having so much speed in the neutral zone,” Mike McKenna, the goaltender who would get scored on, said to the CBC for a new episode of I Was In Net For. “It always makes you nervous as a goalie with somebody coming at you so quickly because the angle changes very quickly.”
Ovechkin ripped a shot to the top corner of the net for no. 50.
“At that time, he was still shooting the puck a ton on the rush,” McKenna said. “I think now everybody thinks of him as a one-timer guy, which he is, but man, he was crushing guys on the rush. He comes flying through. I can’t remember the defenseman in front of me (Lucas Krajicek), but right next to his feet and his stick. The fact that he shot in stride, on the rush, and right by the D’s feet, I kind of froze because I didn’t get a clean read. Just over the glove, it’s in the net.”
It’s what happened afterward that made it one of Ovi’s most historic and memorable goals of his career.