There are no friends on the ice in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final apparently.
The Washington Capitals are in Las Vegas this evening where they will take on the Las Vegas Golden Knights for a chance to claim the very first Stanley Cup Championship in the history of their franchise. For the Golden Knights Game 5 is an elimination game and they will need to win tonight as well as two more consecutive games in order to complete their Cinderella story.
When those are the stakes with which you are playing it's easy to imagine why players on both sides of the ice would be on edge and that appears to be exactly the case this evening. The game hasn't even started yet and we have already had an incident during the pre game warm ups between the two biggest stars on each respective franchise.
During the warm ups Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was skating laps on his side of the ice when he went over to Las Vegas Golden Knights superstar goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and gave him a tap on the pads. Now from my perspective here this did not appear to be meant as an antagonizing gestate from Ovechkin but it was certainly received that way by Fleury who looked like he was about to blow a gasket on the ice after the gesture.
Fleury crossed onto the Capitals side of the ice and began to skate towards Ovechkin before thinking better of it, eventually returning to his side of the ice. Fleury was not done there however and he was very much still angry about what had transpired, just a few seconds later as Ovechkin came around for another lap he gave him what looked to be like a solid slash. Ovechkin took it with a grin however, seemingly content to accept his punishment for his actions earlier.
Now just because the tap from Ovechkin did not appear to be aggressive does not mean it wasn't meant as a taunt, for all I know Ovechkin may have said something to him as he skated by as well. Fleury is usually a pretty jovial guy and he likes to fool around on the ice perhaps more than any other player in the National Hockey League so it would be safe to say that this is somewhat out of character for him. Whether that is a result of the pressure of the moment, or because of something Ovechkin did is the question.