WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals are into the homestretch of the regular season, having already locked up the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the NHL playoffs.
Even with all of the anticipation, Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals’ captain and left wing, told WTOP on Monday morning that the team knows what to expect as they go into the playoffs.
“You have to have luck on your side; you have to be healthy, and you have to be focusing one hundred percent, because the playoffs are totally different hockey,” Ovechkin said. “Every game is like the last game. You have to give one hundred percent effort and be ready for that.”
The Caps play at home against the Islanders on Tuesday night, but Ovechkin says excitement for the playoffs is the main emotion in the locker room right now.
“One more week and the exciting part begins,” Ovechkin says. “We kind of can’t wait until we start, because we already clinched the playoffs. We’re just excited we have a home ice advantage. It’s very important for us — winning.”
With a 29-7-2 record at the Verizon Center, Ovechkin and the Caps don’t plan on disappointing fans. “[When] it’s Game Seven and we’re going to play at home,” he says, “the crowd and the atmosphere is going to push us forward.”
Ovechkin added that Caps fans can do some good when they pick their food fare for game day: The Papa John’s pizza chain’s Ovechkin’s Wish Special offers two medium one topping pizzas for $8 each, with $1 from each order going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
“I remember when some hockey players would help me or help my team when I was growing up. I remembered this all my life,” he said. “I think it’s great when somebody helps different people people who need it.”
The deal is in effect now, and runs through the playoffs.