ARLINGTON, Va. -- In the past two weeks, Alex Ovechkin has been the object of verbal shots from both Sidney Crosby and Don Cherry.
Yesterday morning, the Washington Capitals superstar once again was a target after being nailed in the right foot by a slapshot from Caps assistant coach Dean Evason.
Given his look of pain and disgust as he limped to the dressing room midway through Caps practice, it initially appeared he might be seriously injured.
But the Caps sniper seemed far more upbeat about an hour later when he emerged.
Asked if he would play tonight when the Caps play host the Maple Leafs, Ovechkin grinned.
"We'll see," he said coyly.
Coach Bruce Boudreau had a message for his star.
"He'd better (play)," said Boudreau, who was told by trainers the ailment would not be long term.
Maybe the prospect of facing new Leaf Martin Gerber will make the pain quickly disappear.
Meanwhile defenceman Staffan Kronwall, claimed by the Caps off waivers last month from the Leafs, said after practice that it would "be nice to play against some familiar faces (tonight)."
Several hours later, the Caps shipped him down to their AHL affiliate in Hershey.
So much for the reunion.