Ovechkin shows 'respect' for Cherry
Alex Ovechkin may be tired of discussing his goal celebrations, but it seems he doesn't mind taking a playful jab at Don Cherry.
Ovechkin, whose on-ice antics have been criticized by Cherry in recent Hockey Night in Canada segments, donned a Coach's Corner T-shirt and shorts featuring the HNIC logo while warming up with a soccer ball prior to Tuesday's game in Toronto.
The word "Respect" was printed on the back of the shirt, perhaps suggesting that Ovechkin is ready to bury the hatchet with the popular commentator.
"He can say whatever he wants," Ovechkin told reporters after the morning skate. "I think fans love when something is going on around the league. His TV show is very popular, I think, and I like it."
Cherry ripped Ovechkin for his emotional goal celebrations during the Feb. 28 Coach's Corner segment, and again last Saturday after Ovechkin made news by marking his 50th goal of the season with a "hot stick" routine that appeared staged.
After the Toronto media grilled him on the controversy surrounding his antics, Ovechkin reacted in far more traditional fashion when he scored his 51st goal late in the second period of a 3-2 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs.
At the intermission, Ovechkin seemed weary of the scrutiny when he brushed off a television reporter's question about his muted celebration.
Ovechkin took a similar outlook earlier in the day when he met the media after the morning skate.
"If you win the lottery — a million dollars — you go to the bar and drink a lot," Ovechkin said. "I scored 50 goals and I just celebrated."
"I play myself, I enjoy my life, I have enjoyed my whole career. If somebody don't like it, don't watch my game, don't watch what I'm doing on the ice."