Caps fans knew it. Hockey fans who aren't fanboys knew it. Now everyone knows it. Alexander Ovechkin is the best player in the NHL.
With the overly hyped Sidney Crosby munching on shrimp and nursing his wounds in a skybox, the All-Star Weekend was Alex's coming out party -- at least for the few non-believers left.
But it was his performance in his breakaways that sealed it.
He scored the game-winning goal in the shootout, jamming the puck home after a nifty stick-handling move put the goalie off balance.
On Saturday night, he stole the show in the skills competition. On his most creative attempt, he threw on a hat and some sunglasses and dribbled the puck with two sticks, before tossing one away and slamming home a rebound off an initial shot to huge cheers.
Ovie turned the ballot-stuffing, keypad-mashing Canadiens fans in his favor and their votes helped him win the breakaway competition. No doubt, his infectious, gapped-tooth smile won him a few more.
The reigning MVP is clearly the best and most dynamic player in the league. And with Sid the Kid off the ice, more people finally realized it.