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."
He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.
— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter