Alexander Ovechkin has never played in an Eastern Conference final, but he’s very confident it will happen this season.
The Washington Capitals captain channeled his inner Mark Messier after losing Game 6 on Sunday night and guaranteed a win in Wednesday’s Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. [tweet https://twitter.com/bmcnally14/status/597592256464494594 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/alex_prewitt/status/597595056871092224 align=”center”]
Here is the video of Ovechkin’s postgame comments.
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz had no issue whatsoever with Ovechkin’s guarantee when asked about it Monday morning.[tweet https://twitter.com/KatieStrangESPN/status/597784929578164224 align=”center”] [tweet https://twitter.com/Michael_Traikos/status/597797556601651200 align=”center”]
Nearly all of the pressure entering Game 7 is on the Capitals, who at one point led this series 3-1 with a lead in the final two minutes of Game 5. They lost that game in overtime and went down 4-1 in Game 6 before making a late rally in a 4-3 defeat. It’s also important to note that Washington has perennially underperformed in the playoffs since Ovechkin was drafted in 2004. This team has developed a reputation as one that cannot win the big game.
Ovechkin, in particular, will be under the microscope Wednesday night. He’s enjoyed a fantastic season and was named a Hart Trophy finalist after leading the league in goals scored, but the Russian forward is one of the reasons the Capitals are facing elimination.
Ovechkin is scoreless in the last four games after tallying eight points in the previous nine games of Washington’s playoff run. This is going to be a career-defining game for him, and it will be fascinating to watch how he responds to the pressure.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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