24 April, 2014

Ovechkin and Green Get Schooled

The Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin and Mike Green paid a visit on Wednesday to Williamsburg Middle School in Arlington. Led by Capitals Assistant Coach Dean Evason, the two stars showed the excited students how to stick-handle, pass, and shoot, with a handful of lucky fans joining them for each of the lessons.

But first, Evason hosted a brief Q&A, fielding questions from the crowd. One youngster asked, “How many teeth have you lost?” Two for Mike Green. Then Ovie flashed his wide smile, said he’s lost just one tooth, then said “I have it with me!” (which drew quite the “eeeewwwww!” reaction from the audience).

Check out the curve on that blade!

“Is it worth losing teeth to play hockey?” another student asked. Mike Green quipped in reply, “Did you hear about Ovie’s contract?” [Why yes. Yes we did.] After some laughter, Green said he’s happy to trade a few teeth for a chance to win the Cup–and I’m certain many a fan would join Green in his dental sacrifice to bring the Capitals a championship.
Of course, the students really got excited when lines of seven boys and seven girls teamed up with the players (Ovie was with the girls) for a spirited game of floor hockey.
Other fun moments:

  • Ovechkin stepping on the plastic blade of his hockey stick, trying to increase the curve, and goofily showing off to Green while doing it (“Greenie! Check it out!”).
  • During the stickhandling session, Ovechkin started bouncing the ball on the blade of his stick. Evasaon said, “That’s something special for Alex… Green, don’t try that.” (see video below)
  • Green’s end-to-end rush being foiled by a child’s stick blocking his shot.
  • Ovechkin’s incredulous laughter as Green gave him a good shoulder bump and stole the ball.
  • A child’s father waxing ecstatic about the “fantastic” Kettler Iceplex and how much he enjoys skating there with his son.

Ovechkin (now sporting a less-shaggy look) best summed up his and Mike Green’s enthusiasm for the day, delivered with his trademark grin: “We’re all like kids sometimes . . . the best time in your life [is] when you’re a kid.” More photos after the break.

Ovie's Shooting Clinic
Alex Ovechkin’s Shooting Clinic (with a rapt audience)¬†¬†


Mike Green clearing the puck... er, ball  (photo by Mike Rucki)
Mike Green clears the puck… er, ball¬†¬†
Hands-on lessons from the experts (photo by Mike Rucki)
Quick, swap to the “legal-curve” stick!¬†¬†
Ovechkin dents the twine
Ovie dents the twine
Mike Green watches a young sniper
Mike Green watches . . . the next Mike Green?


  1. Great pics! I especially love Ovie’s comment, “I have it with me!” Priceless :-)

    17 January, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink
  2. Laura wrote:

    Great coverage from Williamsburg. The A/V made it feel… er… sound just like I was there, too! :)

    17 January, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Permalink
  3. katzistan wrote:

    Just wondering how they picked this school – must have been awesome for those kids.

    17 January, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  4. Mark wrote:

    Thanks for the report and the GREAT photos. How’d you time it to get the dented net? Very impressive.

    17 January, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  5. Thanks for the kudos. The event was really fun for all involved… Green, Ovie and Evason were grinning from ear to ear.
    As for the denting-the-net photo, I took about a dozen pics while he was shooting and got lucky with that one. :)

    17 January, 2008 at 5:01 pm | Permalink
  6. Justin wrote:

    Great story, i am still smiling after reading it. So nice to see those guys out having fun and making people in the community happy.

    17 January, 2008 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  7. pepper wrote:

    Seriously – super action photos! What camera did you use?

    17 January, 2008 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  8. Thanks for the photo compliments folks!
    My equipment’s nothing special… hey, wait, that sounds wrong… :)
    I have a decent but aging Sony digital camera, no SLR or anything fancy. Definitely considering an upgrade soon though… if anyone has advice for a quality digital camera balanced with a small case (I don’t want to lug around telephoto lenses at this point), please consider emailing me directly. Thanks!

    17 January, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
  9. Katzistan, I’ve contacted the Caps regarding how the schools are selected and will post their reply if/when we receive it.

    17 January, 2008 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
  10. Moby wrote:

    I see a bad omen. The scoreboard at about 1:38 in to the video displays 87.

    17 January, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  11. Dan Steinberg wrote:

    Dang, your pics were definitely better than mine. Nice stuff.

    18 January, 2008 at 2:27 am | Permalink
  12. Jon wrote:

    This is a great site for Caps news … nice video and pics too.
    I take pictures for UMD’s womens hockey team and for the Face Off Hockey Show. Feel free to email me and I can let you know about a good camera, somewhat small, decent price … it’s the one I use for games and the NHL draft.

    18 January, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  13. More information courtesy of the Capitals:

    “We have partnered with Arlington Public Schools (APS) for Hockey School this season. We will be visiting all of their middle schools. To date, we have also visited Jefferson and Swanson Middle Schools.”

    As for the selection criteria I’m not sure exactly how that works, but I’m sure if your school district is interested you can contact the Capitals for more details. Hope this helps!

    18 January, 2008 at 8:09 pm | Permalink