Ovechkin’s pregame meal is old school carb-loading at its best

Washington Capitals' Barry Trotz is enjoying his time competing with the team this deep into the NHL postseason, TJ Oshie gives credit to captain Alexander Ovechkin for stepping up his play and leading by example.

Ever wonder where Alex Ovechkin gets all that energy?

Turns out, the secret might just be in the sauce — all four of ’em.

In a recent Washington Post article, reporter Scott Allen got the inside scoop(s) on Ovechkin’s carb-filled pregame meal: chicken parmesan, pasta, bread, and four. different. sauces. He has it delivered every home game-day from local restaurant Mamma Lucia — a tradition that began in his rookie year thanks to former general manager George McPhee, who introduced several Capitals to the Washington-based Italian chain during his time there.

According to Allen’s article, Ovechkin is the last Capital who continues this carb-loading culinary tradition as most of his teammates choose to tailor their diets to… healthier options.

Credit for first educating the masses about Ovechkin’s pregame eats goes to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.

“It’s a tradition from day one,” Ovechkin told Kaplan last fall. “They have the Italian food always when we came to the rink, and it’s very delicious.”

Teammate Brooks Orpik also dished up a little insight in a recent post for The Players’ Tribune:

“We have a chef here who prepares our pregame meals. Ovi always orders the same thing — Mama Luccia, which is this pasta dish that’s like chicken parm with noodles, bread, cheese, the kind of thing you want to take a five-hour nap after eating,” Orpik wrote. “He makes a big display of it too. There’s no shame. It’ll be eleven in the morning, way before anyone is really thinking about eating lunch, and Ovi will walk into the dining area yelling, “Mama Luccia! Mama Luccia!” I don’t know. It’s weird, but it seems normal now.”

Clearly, it’s working. The Capitals are currently vying for a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, with Ovechkin tied for second in playoff goals (10) and sixth in points (20) through 16 games.

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