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Blog: Ovechkin visits NHL Store Powered By Reebok

Wednesday, 09.09.2009 / 5:16 PM / Blog Central

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The end is near
09.09.2009 / 5:26 p.m. ET

Ovie was a great sport. He talked trash with me and marveled at some of my goals as I marveled at his.

However, in the end he couldn't stop, of all players, Evgeni Malkin. Did I forget to say I was the Penguins? He was the Caps, of course.

I will have a full recap of the event and the game in a story later. Right now Alex is doing some media interviews and signing more memorabilia as a large crew of fans waits downstairs for him to stroll through the store one more time.

Down goes Ovie

09.09.2009 / 5:16 p.m. ET

It's all over and I got my redemption from a poor showing against Rick Nash last year.

We played two 20 minute periods and I won, 3-2.

More to come.

Game time!

09.09.2009 / 4:49 p.m. ET

It's my turn. Here we go.

Kings crown Ovechkin

09.09.2009 / 4:48 p.m. ET

Ovie lost to Matt, 2-0, using the Kings. Ovie was, of course, the Caps, and he wants a rematch.

Told he is on a schedule, he demanded to play one more period against Matt. He instead is doing a breakaway challenge, which is his forte.

The crowd grows

09.09.2009 / 4:42 p.m. ET

I just took a look behind me and the crowd is pretty big and they all have cameras.

I am starting to feel nervous, but Ovie doesn't look too good at this.

Support for Alex, but none for me

09.09.2009 / 4:39 p.m. ET

Ovie is playing tournament-winner Matt and is losing 1-0. However, he has fan support. Lots of fan support.

Meanwhile, fellow NHL.com writer John McGourty told me that he is going to boo me. What's that all about?

An assist for Ovie

09.09.2009 / 4:37 p.m. ET

Ok, Ovie is getting pointers on how to play 2K10 now. Is someone going to offer me any tips?

I am thinking no. I am on my own.

TV star

09.09.2009 / 4:33 p.m. ET

Ovie is doing an interview right now with Sportsnet New York next to the Wii.

The games are about to begin.

Intimidation factor

09.09.2009 / 4:31 p.m. ET

So, how is this for intimidation:

Directly above the television with the Wii is a poster of Ovechkin that has to be 25 feet high.

Alrighty then...

Scouting Ovechkin

09.09.2009 / 4:27 p.m. ET

Ovie has 4 games lined up. I am No. 3. I think that puts me at an advantage as I get to see him in action and pick up some of his moves.

And the winner is...

09.09.2009 / 4:20 p.m. ET

Ovie is signing autographs now by the cash register. I am standing by the Wii consoles waiting for him.

They just announced the winner of the tournament, the guy who gets to play Ovie, but I don't have his name yet. I will get it. He deserves some pub now.

Down to business
09.09.2009 / 4:18 p.m. ET

He's parked in front of the store now and heading in. I just walked the short red carpet leading into the store as well.

People are clamoring to get in here but now the only people in here are the people that are in the tournament plus some NHL staff.

Ovie is going to play the winner of the tournament, but first he has to get by me.

Behind the wheel

09.09.2009 / 4:10 p.m. ET

A cop just told Ovie, "Don't run anyone over, just go straight."

He is on the move, making the left turn now on Sixth Ave.

"Only in New York City," a woman watching just remarked.

He's here

09.09.2009 / 4:04 p.m. ET

Yup, the Zamboni, complete with the NHL2K10 logo featuring a screaming Ovechkin is parked by a street vendor on 46th St.

Ovie is learning the tricks to driving one of these things now while cameras snap pictures of him and a camera man fits him with a mic.

His father, who does not speak English, is here and has been tasked with taking pictures of his son using Ovie's cell phone.

He is signing some autographs now and should be hitting the gas pedal soon.

Ovie closes in
09.09.2009 / 4:02 p.m. ET

The store is packed, too. I was just told the Zamboni is around the corner and I am going to investigate.

Fans, police on hand
09.09.2009 / 3:57 p.m. ET

Just got downstairs by the store and its already packed as a throng of people await Ovie.

The cops are out in force, though not nearly as many as were by Lincoln Center this morning for President Obama's arrival.

The challenge has been issued
09.09.2009 / 3:20 p.m. ET

I just spent 15 minutes interviewing Ovechkin up at the Empire Hotel on the corner of Broadway and 63rd Street here in midtown and before he even got a chance to plant himself on the comfy couch in NHL.com's slick digs I laid out the challenge to him.

"I'm taking you down today," I told No. 8. "I'm playing you in 2K10 and I'm going to take you down."

Ovechkin, chuckling at my attempt at trash talk, responds, "Oh, you're going to be the one playing me?"

As if he didn't already know (he probably didn't).

"Yup," I said. "And, I'm going to win."

"Well," Ovechkin answers, "you might have a fighting chance."

"Why?" I retort. "Have you never played the game before?"

"No, and that's why you have a chance," he answers.

However, I did find out some chilling news soon after Ovechkin left the room and I headed down to the lobby with a few folks, including Capitals PR guru Nate Ewell and Dan Steinberg, a blogger from the Washington Post who came down today to document Ovechkin.

Jason (not sure of last name), who according to Ewell handles Ovechkin's memorabilia, mentioned to me that while Ovechkin may not have played 2K10 yet, he is, and I quote, "great at all video games. I don't get it."

Well, that gives me something to think about as we await Ovechkin's drive down Sixth Avenue to the NHL Store Powered by Reebok, which by the way is only 40 minutes from now.

Game On!
09.09.2009 / 2:10 p.m. ET

Alex Ovechkin, in midtown Manhattan for the NHL Player Media Tour, is expected to roll down Sixth Avenue in roughly two hours driving a Zamboni to the NHL Store Powered by Reebok. It's supposed to be the main event of the Washington Capitals' superstar's two-day jaunt in the Big Apple.

And, of course, we will be there with video to document it all.

However, in my opinion  that's hardly the big event of the day. No, that will come at around 4:30 this afternoon when Ovie stands next to me holding a Wii controller.

That's right, it's the Rosen vs. Ovie Challenge in NHL 2K10 on the Wii. I am not sure if the game's coverboy has ever played it before - or if he even knows he is playing me today - but I definitely haven't.

A year ago at this time I challenged Columbus captain Rick Nash to a game on NHL 2K9 at the store and was washed out, 1-0. The score wasn't as bad as the fact that I didn't even record a shot on goal.

I plan to change that this time around.

Maybe Ovie will be exhausted from his time on the media tour and I can take advantage of that. Maybe he is already nervous and I can take advantage of that, too. Maybe his drive down Sixth Avenue will still be on his mind.

Either way, it's on. It will be the only time that I will ever be able to match Ovie in something hockey related so hopefully I can take advantage.

As for the rest of his time in the store today, to go along with the video I will be live blogging the event. Obviously I will not be able to during my game with him, but I trust you all understand.

Check back here in a few hours.

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com

Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp