Canadian Press: May 20, 2008:
After Ilya Kovalchuk scored the winning goal in overtime, the Russians celebrated by chipping away at centre ice and unearthing a loonie that had been secretly planted there to bring the Canadians luck.
Alex Ovechkin kissed it repeatedly and passed it around to his teammates before a group of players tried to plant a pole with the Russian flag in the hole they had made.
The lucky loonie that was buried in the ice at Salt Lake City in 2002 ended up in the Hockey Hall of Fame but one can only assume the one from this world championship went back to Moscow on the Russian charter.
Update: From Slam!Sports blog by Stephen Knight, May 20, 2008:
Now that just seems wrong. Sure, the Russians won on a cheesy call, but they mounted a whale of a comeback and put themselves in position to win, so give them props for that. What seems downright humiliating is to have Ovechkin digging up the ice -- our ice -- and commandeering the lucky loonie. Has he no shame?
Obviously Ovechkin didn't mean to offend anyone, didn't want to publicize it, but it happened. He kissed the loonie for God's sake. I think Ovechkin is the only guy who Canadians would let it do. According to SovSport Ovechkin plans to wear the loonie on his chest.
Here's how the Canadians react:
Comment from: David Newland [Visitor]
Good for Ovechkin. That "lucky loonie" thing is WAY overdone. It was cool once, and that was in Salt Lake, when it was done by surprise, and became a charming story when we defeated the US on their home ice.
Since then it's become a boring little habit. And other teams rightly feel it is an irritation. As superstitious as athletes are, messing with their mojo when we're supposed to be their hosts is plain unsportsmanlike.
Ovechkin deserves the dollar.
21/05/2008 @ 09:24
Comment from: Jon Pressick [Visitor]
Couldn't agree with you more David!
On the flipside, maybe this will put some fire into the Canadian team for next year...
21/05/2008 @ 11:44
On this video Ovechkin shows all emotions, from almost crying to dancing, talking to Mom on a cell [Mom, we are the Champions! Woohoo!] and drinking champaine... :)
Fedorov and Fetisov pose for camera, these guys have been through this [Stanley Cup celebration in Detroit]