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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why Don't Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin Like Each Other?

From their interactions on the ice it's pretty obvious that there is some bad blood between Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin.

During games between Ovechkin's Washington Capitals and Malkin's Pittsburgh Penguins, Ovechkin frequently goes after Malkin, hitting him often, even when the hits are behind the play or when Malkin is not in a position to score. That's not like Alexander Ovechkin. He's typically a very smart hitter. He doesn't take himself out of position like that very often.

In recent international competitions Malkin and Ovechkin have both played for the Russia team, but they rarely played on the same line. Even during power plays the two were mostly kept apart.


A recent interview with Alexander Ovechkin sheds some light on this topic.

In an interview with Slava Malamud, posted on the Capitals Insider blog in the Washington Post, Ovechkin is asked about his relationship with Malkin.

"There is no war and everything that was between us is in the past. I just think that he was wrong in acting like he did. He said things that shouldn't have been said. I won't go into it in detail," said Ovechkin.

When pressed, Ovechkin stated that the fued has to do with Evgeni Malkin's Russian agent, Gennadiy Ushakov.

In 2007 it was reported that Alex Ovechkin had an argument with Evgeni Malkin's agent in a nightclub. Some say the argument turned into a physical confrontation.

In November of this year, Malkin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Ovechkin punched Ushakov, calling it a "bad situation."

Ovechkin denies this.

However, in the Washington Post interview, Ovechkin goes on to say that there is no feud between the two players.

"I don't see any rivalry between myself and Malkin. Or between myself and Crosby. And now they are adding Semin to our threesome too. There is nothing of that sort: we just play, get our points, someone is in front, someone is second... Of course, a headline like 'Ovechkin Versus Malkin' catches the eye, but I don't see any reason to pour gasoline onto the fire," says Ovechkin.

So what NHL player does Ovechkin dislike?

"Jarkko Ruutu. He is the dirtiest player and does everything in an underhanded way. Just a rat running around," said Ovechkin.

While this interview sheds some light on the fued, it ends up providing more questions than it does answers.

Ovechkin may not have a professional fued with Malkin, he may just go out there and get points without much concern for his fellow countryman, but personally there does seem to be some definite hostility. Hostility that sometimes brings itself out on the ice.

The Capitals play in Pittsburgh on January 14th. We'll see what happens.


Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear from the way Ovechkin targets Malkin when they play that there is something between them. Just look at this youtube the way Ovie charges Malkin. Fortunately he gets out of the way and Ovie takes the brunt of the hit, but still.

Damian - Raleigh, NC

Penguins Experience said...

There's deinitely something between them.
Ovechkin takes runs at Malkin from all over the ice.

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