There was a little byplay this morning between each team’s top Russian player. The Sharks practiced first at HP Pavilion and while Evgeni Nabokov was taking part in drills, Alexander Ovechkin and a few of his teammates came out to watch through the entryway used by the opposition. Unlike the others, Ovechkin wasn’t wearing a shirt and there was some apparent light banter between him and Nabokov. The two were teammates on Russia’s 2006 Olympic team and have crossed paths elsewhere.
Nabokov couldn’t resist a little dig when asked about Ovechkin showing up without his shirt on.
“Tell him to get a bigger chain,” Nabokov said, seemingly unimpressed with Ovechkin’s choice of gold jewelry. “If we beat them tonight, tell him I’ll buy him a new chain.”
Ovechkin’s response when told of the offer:
“Tell him to buy for himself.”
********While the Caps were going through the standard practice exercises, tough guy Donald Brashear tested out the flexibility of the boards and plexiglass by running into them repeatedly. I’ve never noticed anybody doing that before, but it does make sense if you’re a guy who plans to drill or be drilled during a game in a somewhat unfamiliar building.
********Caps Coach Bruce Boudreau is 13 years older than Sharks Coach Todd McLellan, but the two were road roommates together for two seasons with the Springfield Indians back in the late 1980s. And to this day, McLellan considers him a past mentor.
Boudreau, who was the NHL’s coach of the year last season, seemed impressed with what McLellan has accomplished with the Sharks, but just to a point.
“I’ve got to believe they’re good,” Boudreau said, “but I can’t believe they’re the ‘82 Oilers yet.” Boudreau said.
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