The fans at Madison Square Garden can be creative in their taunts of opposing teams and in this round they took a page from their previous foes.
In the first round, the Ottawa Senators faithful would wait until 11 minutes remained in the period and would chant “Alf-ie, Alf-ie” for captain Daniel Alfredsson. The crowd in New York switched that to “Alfie sucks.”
So with the start of the second round it’s now Alex Ovechkin’s turn to be the target of Rangers fans’ ire. With eight minutes remaining in each period, the Garden crowd counts down for a unified “Ovi sucks” chant.
Ovechkin is used to heckling from opposing crowds; he was taunted more often than not this year on the road by fans of fierce rivals and not-so-heated foes alike.
He didn’t realize this was timed mockery until he was informed by reporters on Sunday, but Ovechkin seemed to appreciate it. “That’s good,” Ovechkin said with a smile. “I hope they’re going to scream ‘Ovi’s good.’ ”
The funny thing about the chant in Game 2, though, was that the Capitals scored within 33 seconds of the eight-minute mark in both the first and third periods. Washington’s tallies – by Mike Knuble in the first period and then Ovechkin himself in the third -- silenced the Madison Square Garden crowd just as the barbs aimed at Ovechkin were being shouted down toward the ice.
Asked about the fans again Monday night, Ovechkin said he doesn’t mind what he hears in the playoffs.
“The crowd pay their money and they like to yell,” Ovechkin said. “They are fans and they support their team. I’m sure they will be yelling in Washington, too.”