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Howe says Ovechkin is a throwback

Tuesday, 10.06.2009 / 7:14 PM / NHL Insider

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- One member of the sold-out Wachovia Center crowd watched Tuesday's game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals with a bit of extra interest in a certain player.
Gordie Howe, one of the all-time legends of the game, had a prime spot to watch one of the League's current greats, Alexander Ovechkin.
Howe said that while he hasn't seen too much of Ovechkin, he's certainly liked what he's seen.
"If he got any better he'd be scary," Howe told NHL.com.
Howe said Ovechkin won him over the first time they met, last season.
"There's 18 guys sitting down and he's the only one who jumped up to shake my hand," Howe said. "He shows respect for the older players."
On the ice, Howe said the two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner reminds him of how things were when he played the game.
"His strength, and he moves so well," Howe said. "He doesn't mind taking a whack to get a shot. Sometimes there's guys that don't like that, they just dump it in. He can absorb a pretty good check to get a shot on net. Any guy that does that for a team is a pretty good man."
While Ovechkin has his way of handling someone who wants to take him on physically, Howe said he learned his own way of handling the rough stuff.
"I had some old fellas teach me the follow-through, and the follow-through means anybody coming from the front wasn't going to hurt me," Howe said. "They'd eat the paint off the blade. Wasn't dirty, it was protection. They'd duck or veer off."
Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com

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