NEW YORK -- Alex Ovechkin expects to again be the target of another unfriendly embrace from the Madison Square Garden fans in Game 5 Monday.
"Yeah, I can't wait," Ovechkin said while flashing is famous gap-tooth smile Monday morning.
Taking a page out of the Ottawa playbook, where the fans at Scotiabank Place count down from 11:11 every period before chanting in favor of captain Daniel Alfredsson, the folks at MSG have taken to counting down from the 8:08 every period before chanting something that isn't all that kind to Ovechkin.
It includes his nickname, Ovi, but you can pretty much guess what the following word is.
Ovechkin doesn't mind it at all.
"I want to laugh, but I can't," he said.
Ovechkin looks at it as a sign of respect.
"It's always nice to hear from the fans, if they're booing you or cheering you," he said. "You're still out there and you still get some respect."
I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.
— Rangers general manager Glen Sather after being asked if he's constructed a team that can win the Stanley Cup before their 4-1 win against the Predators on Monday