Alex Ovechkin has been in the news lately for a rash of minor penalties that earned him a scolding from Coach Barry Trotz and some grumbling from fans. But that didn’t bother Michael Taylor, who took a pre-dawn flight from Boston to watch Capitals practice. Why?

“It was my birthday and I had a dream of meeting Ovechkin,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s mom Victoria Travers is a Bruins fan, which makes sense, because they live in Boston.

“I’m not,” Taylor pointed out.

“We know,” his mom said.

“I’m from Boston, but I like the Capitals,” Taylor said.

And yes, Ovechkin is his favorite player, “because he’s better than anyone in the NHL.”

Anyhow, as luck would have it, Ovechkin found his way to Taylor after practice ended, just before he offered a mea culpa for his recent penalties. Taylor wound up with an autographed puck. Then he flipped his sign over. The other side paid tribute to Matt Niskanen, with whom he shares a birthday.