Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin couldn’t make the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend, but Kirill Kaprizov, with the help of Evgeny Kuznetsov, made sure he was there in spirit.
For his breakaway challenge, Kaprizov did his best No. 8 impression — and absolutely nailed it.
Kaprizov skated out onto the ice, clad in skates and wearing yellow laces. He then took off his Minnesota Wild jersey to reveal an Ovechkin sweater underneath. Kuznetsov then handed him a No. 8 helmet with what looks like a tinted Visor and a yellow Gatorade, which Kaprizov then squirted onto the ice a-la Ovi in warm-ups and took a sip of before heading to center ice.
The 24-year-old then chose to shoot right-handed with a stick decorated like the Great 8’s. He pulled off a great move and scored before finishing off the performance in the best possible way. Kaprizov broke out the “hot stick” celebration from 2009, which Ovechkin broke out for his 50th goal back in 2009 and got a lot of backlash from Don Cherry for.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 5, 2022
Kaprizov has embraced the Capitals at the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend. The Wild star’s parents were in town and met Kuznetsov, who also revealed that Kaprizov’s cat is named “Kuzy.” Kaprizov confirmed that his pet is in fact named after No. 92 and that he’s been a fan of Kuznetsov’s for a long time. Back in 2019, Kaprizov also laced ’em up with Kuznetsov and Ovechkin at the World Championships.
Ovechkin, who was going to be the Metro Division captain, is missing the festivities after testing positive for COVID-19. Teammate Tom Wilson took his place.
The skills competition has been bittersweet for Washington. Kuznetsov finished last in the fastest skater, but his celebration showed that even when you lose, you can win. Then, Wilson came in third in the hardest shot but did pass the century mark with a 101.1 MPH slapper.
After Kaprizov, Trevor Zegras impressed with the ultimate Peter LaFleur/Dodgeball tribute, and Jack Hughes put on a magic show. However, Alex Pietrangelo won with a drum and Carrot Top.
Trevor Zegras is a gift. pic.twitter.com/gWfJ3TG0NG
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) February 5, 2022