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Ovechkin isn’t 100 percent, expects to play for Russia in 2014 WHC final

May 24, 2014, 10:18 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin admitted to reporters that he doesn’t feel totally healthy, yet it looks like he’ll still play for Russia against Finland in the gold medal game of the 2014 World Hockey Championship on Sunday, as reports.

“I had a new knee brace and felt much better,” Ovechkin told reporters in Minsk, Belarus. “I can’t say I’m 100 percent fit but the situation is that one must be ready for anything. We have one game left and we must do everything to make sure we win.”

Ovechkin, 28, gave Washington Capitals fans a big scare when he suffered a knee injury earlier in this tournament, but it seems like the bullet has been dodged … for the most part. Maybe.

His numbers indicate that he’s been feeling well enough. As of Saturday, he has 10 points in eight games with a (gasp) +6 rating.

The Capitals would almost certainly prefer that Ovechkin played it safe, yet this is a chance for at least some redemption for Ovechkin and Russia in international hockey competition after the deep disappointments from Sochi.

Here are highlights of Russia beating Sweden 3-1 in the semifinals:

While their upcoming opponents Finland blanked the Czech Republic 3-0 in the other semifinal match:

  1. canucks30 - May 24, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    The Tracy McGrady of the NHL, Ovechkin, shows more heart, determination, and passion for international hockey at the World Championships (where he’s already won 2 Gold Medals and represented Russia every year other than 2009 since he broke into the NHL) than he does in the Stanley Cup playoffs where he has yet to play beyond the second round.

    • capsnbohs23 - May 24, 2014 at 10:52 PM

      you ever get tired of saying the same stuff every time Ovi is talked about in an article?

      • canucks30 - May 24, 2014 at 10:54 PM


      • capsnbohs23 - May 24, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        just checking, keep beating a dead horse

      • canucks30 - May 24, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      • capsnbohs23 - May 24, 2014 at 11:15 PM

        there ya go, thats the spirit

      • canucks30 - May 24, 2014 at 11:23 PM

    • stakex - May 24, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      In his playoff career Alex Ovechkin has 31 goals and 30 assists in 58 games, and is a +9. Anyone with half a brain understands that its not his fault the Capitals have not advanced past the second round.

      And you say “he has yet to play beyond the second round” as though its 100% in his control. Remember in 08-09 when he had 14 points in the second round, and the Caps still lost? That’s because hockey is a team sport, not an individual one.

      • joey4id - May 25, 2014 at 8:55 AM

        If you’re using his playoff stats to justify his team’s failures in the playoff, can we use this year’s regular season stats to blame him for his team’s poor performance this year?

  2. canucks30 - May 24, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    As an aside, they need to scrap this tournament. Nobody in North America cares about it, Canada never sends even remotely it’s best talent and hasn’t taken the tournament seriously in years, and all of the hockey world is focused on the NHL playoffs.

    They would be better off alternating a World Cup of Hockey with the Olympics every 2 years with the World Cup played in early September before the start of NHL training camps.

    • lallin66fan - May 25, 2014 at 3:02 AM

      So just because Americans don’t care about it, it should be scrapped? (Classic ‘merica thinking) Yea righ.. I can tell you that us Europeans care way more about the wc tournament than the Stanley cup at the moment . Thrust me I’ve got inside information.

    • capsfan14 - May 25, 2014 at 3:58 AM

      Europeans care about the tournament a great deal. Stop being so ignorant.

    • joey4id - May 25, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      canucks30, do you actually think NA is the universe of hockey? If so, that’ rather arrogant.

  3. hockeyflow33 - May 25, 2014 at 1:46 AM

    How many guys who went through training camp, a full regular season and the Olympics before the WHC are anywhere near 100%?

  4. ironmd778 - May 25, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    No problem. He only taps into about 60% anyways.

  5. smarshall3789 - May 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Who cares congrats to Russia for winning a tournament that everyone else send their C team to! Congrats to Russia for stacking your team with NHL playoff failures! This will not make up for all of your chocking in the Olympics and Stanley Cup playoffs! Congrats seriously your going to win a pee wee tournament congrats you should be proud Russia

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