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Wednesday Roundup: Ladies And Gentlemen, Alexander Ovechkin

It begins tonight. At a bit past 7:00 PM at the MCI Center, Alexander Ovechkin will take the ice in his first National Hockey League Game to begin what should be a long and incredibly successful career. Sure, it's only a preseason game. But for the first time in almost 18 months, they'll be playing hockey on the sheet at the Phonebooth. And taking center stage will be the future of the franchise: part man, part the man, hope and salvation all rolled into one. I'll be there. You should be too.

The WaPo discusses the ongoing soap opera that is Alexander Semin, and notes that it's opening night of the AO Show. Dave Fay focuses on Ovechkin's debut and makes the dire assessment that "it now appears [Semin] won't be playing in North America this season." Please be wrong.

Expect to see perpetual prospect Ryan Miller in goal for the Sabres tonight, probably facing Olie Kolzig.

Hockey's Future has posted a revised Capitals Top 20 Prospects.

Monday's Scoreboard:
Elsewhere around the League:
  • Apparently everyone hates the French (and French-Canadians). The Buffalo News notes:
    [Goalie Mika Noronen] was drafted by the Sabres in 1997, yet he never had a Finnish teammate ... until defensemen Teppo Numminen and Toni Lydman were acquired in the offseason.

    The goalie admitted it was nice to finally be able to speak his native tongue in the dressing room, but denied they talk about their teammates behind their backs.

    "That's what the French guys are doing," Noronen said wryly, "but the Finns are not doing that."

  • The Isles have named Alexei Ya$hin as their new captain. Can you think of a worse player to lead a team? Somewhere, Denis Potvin cringes.
  • Well, maybe not everyone hates the French (Canadians) after all. Kings wing Luc Robitaille has opened his second home to two families left homeless after hurricane Katrina hit.

    The families, one from New Orleans and the other from Mississippi, have moved into the Robitaille's second home near Park City, Utah. They will be relocated to an area of their choice with the help of Shelter for Serenity, a hurricane relief project started by the Robitailles.

    "This is something I had to do after seeing all the devastation," Robitaille told the Los Angeles Times. "If I was out of hockey and nobody remembered my name, I'd be doing this. If my name can help people in some way now, then that's even better."

    Kudos, Lucky.