Trump congratulates 'superstar' Ovechkin for making 'D.C. poppin' with Caps success
US president Donald Trump has personally congratualed Washington Capitals' captain Alexander Ovechkin after the Russian led the caps to a historic first Stanley Cup win, branding 'Ovi' a "superstar".
Congratulations to the Washington Capitals on their GREAT play and winning the Stanley Cup Championship. Alex Ovechkin, the team captain, was spectacular - a true Superstar! D.C. is popping, in many ways. What a time!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2018
Trump tweeted: "Congratulations to the Washington Capitals on their GREAT play and winning the Stanley Cup Championship. Alex Ovechkin, the team captain, was spectacular - a true Superstar! D.C. is popping, in many ways. What a time!"
The Caps defeated the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday. In doing so, Ovechkin became the first Russian-born player to captain a team to the most coveted prize in hockey.
Ovechkin is a well-known supporter of Vladimir Putin, and was the brains behind the 'Putin Team' initiative, created in support of the Russian president and comprising some of the country's most famous sports stars, including chess grandmaster Sergey Karjakin.
As with almost everything in the Twittersphere, even the most joyous of events can be soured and, of course, some users were quick to criticize Trump for even daring to congratulate a Russian on an historic success. Although they did meet some opposition from Ovechkin fans.
Weird, a Russian gets a major shoutout 😐— UnsilentMajority 🌹 (@The_UnSilent_) June 8, 2018
A known acquaintance of Putin too.— Tim Campbell (@VncentLIFE) June 8, 2018
Omg you two need to crawl back into your holes. Ovechkin is the best player on the team, the Tom Brady of hockey. F**king morons!— Decapped (@DecappedNews) June 8, 2018
It followed a trend set within minutes of the Caps' victory, when some social media users - albeit light-heartedly - put the victory down to “Russian meddling”, due to Ovechkin and two other Russians' participation in the victorious squad.
Ovechkin is unlikely to let that bother him, the Muscovite was quoted as saying in his post-game interview: “Fans, we did it. Get some beers. Get some whatever and start celebrating. We're the Stanley Cup champions!"
Interviewer Scott Oake then thanked Ovi in Russian, telling him “Spasibo” (thank you), to which Ovechkin replied with the traditional Russian “Pozhaluysta” (don't mention it) before joining his teammates in celebrating their hockey triumph on the Vegas ice.