It was not quite a car crash, but the head-on collision between Washington Capitals teammates Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble was as close as it gets.
During Thursday's practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Ovechkin and Knuble slammed into each other at full speed during a drill, which caused the former to crumple to the ice. Ovechkin laid face-down on the ice for about two minutes with his hands on his head while teammates looked and trainers checked on him. He then left the ice under his power and sat on the bench for about three minutes before retreating for the locker room.
“That was a lot of beef coming together there [at] full speed," Knuble said after practice (it should be noted that Ovechkin and Knuble's combined weight is just sby of 500 pounds). "When people don’t see each other, it gets pretty dangerous.”
Ovechkin was not available for comment Thursday, but head coach Dale Hunter said that his superstar is "fine," that his head was not impacted during the collision and that he would join the team on its upcoming road trip, which begins Friday in Winnipeg against the Jets. Washington definitely dodged a bullet there, especially considering that Nicklas Backstrom is just starting to skate after suffering a concussion over two months ago. For once, it seems like Lady Luck is on the Caps' side.
While Lady Luck is around, perhaps she can help Ovechkin with his NCAA Tournament bracket, which Joel Ward tweeted to the masses Thursday:
Now, it is quite hard to make out what Ovechkin's bracket actually says, partially because it looks like a maze on the back of a Denny's placemat. D.C. Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg gives it the old college try (pun intended) as he sees Kentucky, Duke, St. Louis, Norfolk State, Syracuse, Alabama, West Virginia and Georgetown in the Elite Eight. Ovechkin then has Kentucky defeating fellow SEC inhabitant Alabama for the national championship.
There are two things that come to mind here: either Ovechkin has no semblance of college basketball knowledge whatsoever or he will be remembered as an absolute genius because he selected every upset. That is, because all he did was pick upsets.
Adam Vingan is co-founder and editor of Kings Of Leonsis, a Caps-centric blog, and is the Capitals Editor for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_KOL and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.