Ovechkin, Caps avoid injury despite Baltimore’s ‘scary’ conditions

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One could argue that the greatest preseason victory comes in merely avoiding injury, at least if you’re a player with a solidified NHL job. That seemed to be especially true for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, as CSNWashington.com reports that Alex Ovechkin barely avoided a collapsing piece of glass at Baltimore’s 51-year-old 1st Mariner Arena.

“Watching the replay, that was very scary,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “I think that’s what happens when you don’t play in a building for a while. But it didn’t happen again, so good for that.”

That would have been a pretty awful birthday gift for Ovechkin, who turned 28 today.

Even beyond the cascading glass, the arena – which hasn’t seen even a preseason NHL game since 2011, when the Capitals and Nashville Predators roundly complained about it – the conditions simply didn’t seem optimal for high-level hockey.

“You can’t hold the puck, you can’t shoot it.,” Ovechkin said. “Afraid to go to the boards because it’s too dangerous.”

In 2011, people spoke hopefully about drawing an NHL team to Baltimore full-time, but it would be hard to imagine even getting the Capitals back there very often (at least without significant improvements to the building).

Again, though, the bright side seems to be that there were no major injuries.

(Oh yeah, the Capitals lost 3-2 to the Boston Bruins in a shootout.)