Jets fans chirp Ovechkin
KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|Winnipeg Jets' Randy Jones (R) checks Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin at the MTS Centre Friday night. (REUTERS/Fred Greenslade)
Clap, clap, clap-clap-clap.
That chant from the MTS Centre faithful on Friday night, directed towards Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, was the talk of Twitter after the game and was still getting plenty of attention on Saturday at MTS Iceplex.
"I would agree with them," winger Kyle Wellwood said. "I think Crosby's better, too, but Ovechkin's his own player and he's got two MVP trophies, so I don't think he's got anything to worry about."
Zach Bogosian watched Friday's game from the press box because he was injured, but he didn't take part in the third-period chant.
"No. I heard it, though," Bogosian said. "I was trying to figure out what it was at first. It just kind of goes to show you how fun it is to play here, and the fans make it real fun for everyone.
"As much as I'm sure he didn't like it, I'm sure he probably got a kick out of it. It's always a fun atmosphere to play in Winnipeg."
The crowd at Jets games has been a story all season, and the players are asked about it incessantly, but Friday's atmosphere seemed to reach new heights. And that didn't go unnoticed by the players.
"They had fun. It was Friday night, so they had fun. And we had the fun," Pavelec said. "They give you that special energy when you're tired, when you're down, so you push yourself because 15,000 watching you are screaming for you and cheering for you."
The atmosphere is unlikely to be as electric on Sunday night when the Carolina Hurricanes pay a visit to MTS Centre, so head coach Claude Noel is going to ensure his players guard against a letdown. If the crowd can do its part, Noel would be appreciative.
"It would help because I think they'd be deeply disappointed if we didn't start very well, and I'll be right there with them pounding on our guys," Noel said.
So many people turned out for Saturday's practice at MTS Iceplex that security had to form a line for a few hundred people wanting to get into the workout, like it was a swanky new Manhattan bar. Meanwhile, more than 300 people watched from the stands.
Then several hundred fans headed outside into the gorgeous weather and waited for the players in the parking lot. The players slowly made their way down the line, signing autographs for everyone and posing for pictures.