The Garden faithful started a countdown each period as the clock worked its way down to eight minutes left and unleashed a loud "Ovi [stinks]" chant. It's not hard to figure out their exact message to him. But it was a brilliant take on a similar chant that the fans in Ottawa started doing late this season as a tribute to star winger Daniel Alfredsson, who is reportedly pondering retirement.
During Senators home games, when the clock in a given period closes in on 11 minutes -- Alfredsson wears No. 11 -- Senators fans do an extended countdown and finish with a "3, 2, 1 ... Alfi, Alfi, Alfi" cheer that brings the house down at their arena, Scotiabank Place.
New Yorkers became intimately familiar with the tribute when the Rangers played Ottawa in the Stanley Cup playoffs. So fans at the Garden took a sweet cheer for an icon and adopted it for their own nefarious purposes. Each time the clock wound down to eight minutes Saturday -- Ovechkin wears No. 8, of course -- they broke it out with that semi-profane twist. Ovechkin admitted he heard the cheer and enjoyed the reasoning when it was explained to him. But he couldn't help but suggest a slight change.
"That's good," Ovechkin laughed. "I hope they're going to scream, 'Ovi's good.'?"
- Brian McNally