Caps wish moms, wives a Happy Mother's Day

Caps wish moms, wives a Happy Mother's Day
May 12, 2013, 2:30 pm
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NEW YORK -- Their minds may be focused on winning a hockey game today at MadisonSquareGarden, but that doesn’t mean the Capitals have forgotten their responsibilities as sons and husbands.

Here are a few of their thoughts and memories on Mother’s Day:

Mike Ribeiro, whose mother, Maria, and father, Alberto, immigrated from Portugal to Montreal: “My Mom? Great woman. She used to walk me to the rink in the winter. She prepared my bag. Practices, games, she was always there. When you have your Mom you always have support. My parents left Portugal for a better life. It was hard. They didn’t speak the language. They worked hard to give us a chance. My Mom worked for a manufacturer. My Dad [Alberto] played soccer for a while and worked for Kraft. You never stop repaying them. But Mother’s Day is also for my wife [Tamara] and I have to take care of her, too. She’s a great Mom. It’s a hard life for them with us on the road.  It’s a hard job, supporting us when we move around.”

Alex Ovechkin, whose mother, Tatyana, won two Olympic gold medals for Russia in women’s basketball: “She’s the best. I appreciate the support she always give to me.” Her gift for today? “Just win.”

Joel Ward, whose mother, Cecilia, raised three sons after her husband died of a stroke when he was 14: “She’s one of the hardest-working people I know. She’s a beast. She gave up a lot as a single parent with me and two older brothers. Finding a way to get me to hockey practice was tough. She was a nurse so she would pick me up after hockey practice and she didn’t have time to go home, so I would stay overnight in the hospital.  I’d crash in one of the extra rooms and she would take me to school the next morning. Looking back you realize the amount of work that was put in, having a mother who worked 12-hour shifts back-to-back so that I could play baseball and hockey.  She’d sign me up regardless, and she found a way to make to happen. I definitely owe her a lot. My mother wasn’t rally a lovey-dovey type of lady. She showed her love through her work, by providing for us. As a kid growing up you don’t realize that, but you do now. It was a long emotional ride, for sure, but some days you look back and you see the road she had to take. It’s pretty inspirational. You better believe she wont let me slide without a phone call.”

Karl Alzner: “We knew we could be playing so you prepare ahead of time. You send flowers and cards. I’m more of an online guy than shopping, but a few of the guys said [in New York] they got some gifts for their moms. The one thing my Mom always told me was never stop having fun. Even when we lost those two games it’s still fun. It’s still a game. It’s our job but sometimes you overlook the fact it’s a game. .Whenever I would tell my Mom about my day when I was a kid, I was always the one having a little more fun than her. She worked the front desk at a hospital and she always had to put on a good face.”

Troy Brouwer, whose wife, Carmen, is celebrating her first Mother’s Day following the birth of the couple’s first child, Kylie Marie: “I’m all ready to go. Everything’s wrapped and actually hidden in the house. I’ll get home later at night but I’ll get to see a little of her first Mother’s Day. If there’s one thing I learned from my mom it’s don’t jump to conclusions. If you meet people don’t let your first impression of them sway your decision of what kind of person they are. Get to know them. Get to interact with them and then you can decide.”

Jason Chimera, whose wife, Sarah, is the mother of their two children: “The best is when the kids make something at school. To see her face when she sees their cards is worth everything.  As far as my mom, she raised three great kids and the patience she had with us, I can vouch for it now being a father. I was at the rink with [son] Cale at 7:30 [a.m. Saturday], so all those early mornings she put in I can appreciate those things. You don’t appreciate that when you’re 22 or 23 having the time of your life. But you sure appreciate it once you become a father and you realize how much hard work it is.”

Tom Wilson, on his mother, Neville: “She doesn’t get all the credit she deserves. She’s been there the whole way. She’s the first one to defend me when the going gets tough. There are three boys in our family so everyone who meets my Mom says the same thing. ‘I don’t know how you get through it.’ But we’re a real close family and I love my mother a bunch.”