The Washington Times - January 13, 2012, 02:38PM

Maybe before a recent tear and Nicklas Backstrom’s injury, Alex Ovechkin wasn’t a shoo-in for the NHL All-Star Game. So the Washington Capitals star did have to cancel some plans for the last weekend in January and will instead fly to Ottawa for his fifth straight appearance.

“You get used to it. I was actually planning to go to vacation for a little bit, just to rest from hockey. It was my plan,” Ovechkin said Friday. “But in the back of my head, I always think if I can go there, I have to go because it’s big opportunity for me to be there. It’s nice when the league and people wants to see you out there.”


Ovechkin has 17 goals, 16 assists and a minus-8 rating but is one of the faces of the NHL. Sidney Crosby is unable to attend because of post-concussion symptoms.

But Ovechkin will be there – even if he insists he’s “retired” from the breakaway challenge at the skills competition.

“Skill competition of course is going to be pretty cool stuff. I don’t know what I’m going to do there. We’ll see; maybe just passing the puck and have some fun,” he said.

But, no, Alex, you can’t really not take part in the breakaway challenge, right?

No, I’m done with that. I want to try something new, maybe shooting,” Ovechkin said. “We’ll see what’s going to be there. Maybe some different stuff. But different guys have to get it.”